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1979 Pittsburgh Pirates

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[edit] 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates / Franchise: Pittsburgh Pirates / BR Team Page

Record: 98-64, Finished 1st in NL Eastern Division (1979 NL)

World Series Champs

Managed by Chuck Tanner

Ballpark: Three Rivers Stadium

[edit] History, Comments, Contributions

The Pirates' last World Championship team (through 2008) was built from the furious pursuit of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1978. This Pirate team had only two new players from 1978 for the entire season, Steve Nicosia and free agent signee Lee Lacy. Two crucial trades shaped this team, the April deal sending Frank Taveras for Tim Foli (and Greg Field) from the Mets, and the massive player swap with the San Francisco Giants past the trading deadline, when Bill Madlock and Dave Roberts were swapped for Ed Whitson and good minor league prospects. Madlock's acquisition enabled Chuck Tanner to move Phil Garner from third to second, put Rennie Stennett on the bench, and plug Madlock into third or the sixth spot of the batting order. The classic batting order for the Pirates at the end of the season was..

  1. 1 Omar Moreno-CF
  2. 2 Tim Foli-SS
  3. 3 Dave Parker-RF
  4. 4 Willie Stargell-1B
  5. 5 Bill Robinson-LF
  6. 6 Bill Madlock-3B
  7. 7 Ed Ott-C
  8. 8 Phil Garner-2B
  9. 9 Pitcher

The Pirates employed a platoon at catcher, with Ott and Nicosia splitting time, and somewhat of a platoon in Left Field, with Robinson and John Milner. Milner also played significant time at first for Stargell. Robinson was more of a full time player. Stennett, Lacy, Mike Easler, Manny Sanguillen and Matt Alexander were the main bench players, along with Dale Berra. Berra did not make the post-season roster though.

The pitching staff was led by starters John Candelaria, Jim Bibby, Bert Blyleven, Bruce Kison, Don Robinson, and an outstanding bullpen. Kent Tekulve, Grant Jackson and Enrique Romo became the first trio of teammates in major league history to be the first, second and third in the league in Games Pitched same season. Dave Roberts and Jim Rooker were swing men, with Rooker starting when his ailing arm could hold up.

Pittsburgh Pirates
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NL Championship Series (3-0) Pirates over Reds

World Series (4-3) Pirates over Orioles

AL Championship Series (3-1) Orioles over Angels

[edit] Further Reading

  • Bill Ranier and David Finoli: When the Bucs Won It All: The 1979 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2005.
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