Ranking the Pittsburgh Pirates' five World Series winning teams

The Pirates have won five World Series in their long history, but which is the best among the five?
Philadelphia Phillies v Pittsburgh Pirates
Philadelphia Phillies v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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Jul 28, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Statue depicting the 1960 World Series home run hit by
Jul 28, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Statue depicting the 1960 World Series home run hit by / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Number Five

The best way to describe the 1960 team is an extremely well rounded team, albeit with one without major star power. There was no pitcher or position player who was head and shoulders better than anyone else on the staff. They had a lot of players who came in and gave them solid results.

The 1960 team had seven position players with 300+ plate appearances and a league average or better wRC+ (100 or greater). Bill Mazeroski and Gino Cimoli were the only two below league average. Even then, both were in the ballpark of league average, with Maz sitting at 90 and Cimoli at 88. However, none had a wRC+ above 125.

The most valuable hitter on the team was Don Hoak, who slashed .282/.366/.445 with a .358 wOBA and 124 wRC+. While Hoak was second to Roberto Clemente in wOBA, wRC+, and OPS, Hoak had +5.1 fWAR while Clemente was at +3.4. Both were extremely valuable to the team’s line-up. Dick Groat, who won the National League MVP, batted .325/.371/.394 with a .347 wOBA and 116 wRC+ and was another highly productive member of the 1960 Pirates. Plus he was a fantastic defensive shortstop with +16 total zone runs.

Like on the hitting front of things, there wasn’t any starter that was so far below average that he was costing the team games. The worst was Harvey Haddix, who still had a 3.94 ERA (107 ERA-), 3.01 FIP (84 FIP-), and 1.32 WHIP. The team’s best pitcher that year was Bob Friend, who worked to a 3.00 ERA (81 ERA-), 2.54 FIP (72 FIP-), and 1.13 WHIP in 275.1 innings.

Surprisingly, a lot of the contributions came from unsung heroes, like Hal Smith (135 wRC+/286 PAs), Rocky Nelson (132 wRC+/234 PAs), Dick Schofield (129 wRC+/121 PAs). Roy Face and Fred Green were a knock-out set-up/closing duo. Combined, this team won 95 games. One of the few below-average hitters, Mazeroski, delivered one of the most iconic home runs in Major League history with his walk-off home run in World Series Game 7.