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 Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Pirates: The Franchise All-Time Bracket

Championship round

The Pittsburgh Pirates bracket heads into the way-back machine for a title match between the 1909 world champs and a 1902 team that was probably the best of its era. Both feature Wagner at his best supplemented by the insanely deep and talented pitching staff.

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Game 1: This is your basic knock-down, drag-out. Both teams top .690 in winning percentage. In the end, 1902’s 103-36-3 in 142 games equates to .738, making it better than the 1909 team’s 110-42-2 in 154 games, a .694 percentage.

Game 2: A forfeit to the 1909 club, evening the series at a game each.

Game 3: To date, none of the great Pirate teams have been able to match the 1902 club’s 119 OPS+…and the 1909 team’s 107 can’t either.

Game 4: 1902 also throws a 119 staff ERA+ at its opponents. The 1909 team’s impressive 114 staff ERA+ takes a rare defeat.

Game 5: The 50.0 WAR posted by Wagner’s 1909 team ought to beat almost any opponent. The problem is that Wagner’s 1902 team had a 54.2 WAR, giving it the victory.

Result: 1902 in five games

Although the 1902 club was never in this bracket extended beyond a fifth game, it’s worth noting that it’s .958 fielding percentage was an imposing 9 points better than the league’s .949 average that season.

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And had the final gone to a seventh game – Hall of Famers—a tie-breaker would have been required. Both teams produced three: Chesbro, Clarke, and Wagner in 1902, Clarke, Wagner and pitcher Vic Willis in 1909.