Record: 80-82, Finished 3rd in NL Eastern Division (1973 NL)
Managed by Bill Virdon and Danny Murtaugh
Ballpark: Three Rivers Stadium
After three straight division titles, the Pirates found it impossible to get untracked in 1973. The death of Roberto Clemente (in a New Year's Eve plane crash) haunted the clubhouse and left a hole in right field that Gene Clines and Roberto's good friend Manny Sanguillen were unable to fill. Equally devastating was the sudden collapse of pitcher Steve Blass, who went from 19-game winner to unrepairable wildness seemingly overnight. Only the weakness of the NL East division kept the Pirates in the pennant race until the final week of the season. With an 80-82 record, the Bucs finished just 2 1/2 games behind the eventual NL champion Mets.