Constructing the Pittsburgh Pirates All-Time Lineup
By Cody Potanko
Center Field – Andy Van Slyke
Andy Van Slyke may be an odd choice for some of you. After all, that McCutchen guy held down center field for nine seasons, which included being the key piece on three of the best teams in franchise history. However, when you look at Van Slyke’s stats, you may think otherwise.
Van Slyke was a true two-way player. With the bat, he received two Silver Slugger Awards (1988 and 1992), and defensively he won five straight Gold Gloves awards (1988-1992.) Van Slyke, during his time with the Pirates, was not talked about a ton. This was largely due to players such as Bobby Bonilla and Barry Bonds roaming the corners.
As a Pirate, Van Slyke slashed .283/.353/.811 as well as showing some pop with his bat with 117 home runs. He was also the starting center fielder for three consecutive National League Eastern Division Championship squads from 1990 through 1992.
When it comes down to it, Van Slyke may not have been the flashiest center fielder, but he sure was consistent and reliable. His reputation and the impact he left on this city will genuinely would be a memorable one, and he definitely belongs on this list. To this day, he remains a fan favorite among many Pirate fans.