Pittsburgh Pirates: Examining Some of the Worst Teams in Franchise History

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Pittsburgh Pirates
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1985 Pittsburgh Pirates, 57-104 Record

The 1980s, in general, were an ugly time not just in the fashion world but for Pittsburgh sports. In Chuck Tanner‘s last year in Pittsburgh, he saw the worst record he’s ever posted in his career. During his nine years in Pittsburgh, he posted a 711-685 record, an honestly, I can’t blame Tanner for the 1985 year.

The Pirates leader for average that year was outfielder Joe Orsulak he posted a .300/.342/.365 slash line. The second baseman Johnny Ray led the team with 70 RBIs and 163 hits. On a team that once saw the likes of Clemente, Stargell, and others, it’s sad to see how bad that team looked that year offensively.

The 36-year-old Rick Reuschel had a phenomenal year posting a 14-8 record and an incredible 2.27 ERA. Every other starter, though, had a 4.01 ERA or higher, unfortunately. The writing was just on the wall. The once-great Pittsburgh Pirates weren’t what they used to be back in the ’70s.

1985 also saw plenty of off the field turmoil for the Pirates. As ownership looked to sale there were rumors abound of a possible relocation to cities such as Tampa Bay or Denver. Also, there were the infamous Pittsburgh Drug Trials.