Pittsburgh Pirates: Examining Some of the Worst Teams in Franchise History
After hearing so many people at the beginning of every year saying ‘this year is the worst Pittsburgh Pirates team ever,’ it was time to do some research to determine which teams are the worst in franchise history
Now that the 2020 season has come to an end, it’s no secret that the Pittsburgh Pirates weren’t very good this year. Every year it seems like you hear fans say “this team sucks,” or “this team is going to lose 100,” or, my favorite, “spend Nutting win Nutting.” This year you heard, “well, they can’t lose 100, but they’ll probably lose 60.” With all that negative talk, it got me thinking how many times the Pirates lost 100 games or, at the very least, had a terrible season. For now, we will stick to the 100 loss seasons.
In the Pirates 133 years of existence, they have won a total of 10,564 games, including this year. Believe it or not, that places them 8th all-time for the most wins in MLB. With that being said, this franchise has seen some tumultuous times and some god awful records. So I am here to talk about it and discuss each year I list. We will start the list with a team from over 100 years ago.
1917 Pittsburgh Pirates, 51-103 Record
This was the first team in Pirate franchise to lose 100+ games. This team was historically bad. It was so bad that the team actually had three managers that year. The first manager was Jimmy Callahan, who spent only two years here in Pittsburgh. In 1917 he got fired after posting a 20-40 record and an overall record in Pittsburgh of 85-129. Even though it was a short time, the next was the “Flying Dutchman” Honus Wagner. He posted just a 1-4 record as manager before he was replaced by Hugo Bezdek. Bezdek could only muster a 30-59 record.
As far as the team goes, there wasn’t much to speak of. The guy who led pretty much all offensive categories was Hall of Famer Max Carey, who posted a .296/.369/.378 slash line. He also led the team in RBIs (51) and hits (174.) The pitchers in 1917 was led by Wilbur Cooper, who posted a 17-11 record with a 2.36 ERA. The crazy thing about that year was four out of five starting pitchers posted a 3.13 ERA or lower. Goes to show offense is important too.