Pittsburgh Pirates: The franchise all-time bracket

BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 18: Field level general view of the Pittsburgh Pirates logo on the field before the Spring Training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at McKechnie Field on March 18, 1999 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Vincent Laforet/Getty Images)
BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 18: Field level general view of the Pittsburgh Pirates logo on the field before the Spring Training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at McKechnie Field on March 18, 1999 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Vincent Laforet/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Morris Berman/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Morris Berman/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Pirates: The Franchise All-Time Bracket

No. 4 vs.  5 seed

This is a matchup of World Series winners with more than a bit of an overlap.

For starters, Danny Murtaugh managed both the 1960 and 1971 world champions. Beyond that, Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski played for both, and each became a World Series hero: Maz in 1960, Roberto in 1971.

Clemente batted .341 in 1971. While Willie Stargell delivered a league-leading 48 home runs and 125 RBIs. Catcher Manny Sanguillen also topped .300, finishing at .319.

A balanced pitching staff was led by Steve Blass, 15-8, although Dock Ellis led in victories with 19.

For the 1960 team, Clemente batted .314 with a team-leading 94 RBIs. Shortstop Dick Groat added a.325 average, while Vern Law won 20 games against just 9 defeats. The Pittsburgh Pirates had the league’s top batting average (.276)

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Game 1: The expanded schedule between 1960  and 1971 does in the 1971 Pirates. They had two more wins, but also six more losses, and a .599 percentage. The 1960 team produced a .617 winning percentage.

Game 2: Conversely, the expanded post-season schedule favors 1971. Both teams won a seven-game World Series, so the matter comes down to the 1971 club’s performance in the NLCS, which didn’t exist in 1960. The Pirates beat San Francisco in four games in that NLCS, giving them the superior post-season record.

Game 3: This game goes to the 1971 club, the better offensive team. Its 109 OPS+ is seven points superior to the 1960 team’s 102.

Game 4: The 1960 team’s 108 staff ERA+ is four points better than the 1971 team’s 104. The series is again even at two games aside.

Game 5: It’s a narrow victory for 1971. Boosted by a combined 15.2 WAR from Stargell and Clemente, the 1971 club presents a team WAR of 49.4. The 1960 WAR of 48.8 comes up less than one point short.

Game 6: The 1971 team’s .979 fielding average precisely matches the league average for that season. The 1960 team also had a .979 fielding average, but that was two points better than the league average for that season. Fittingly, this series goes to a seventh game.

Game 7: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates produced two Hall of Famers, Clemente, and Mazeroski. The 1971 club retained both of those legends and added Stargell, whose presence is the decisive element.

Outcome: 1971 in seven games