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Pittsburgh Pirates Team Page
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2008 Pittsburgh Pirates Schedule
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Pittsburgh Pirates History
The Pirates began as a charter member of the American Association (19th century) in 1882. Their various home fields in the 19th century were in a then-separate city called Allegheny City, across the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh. The team was listed as "Allegheny" in the standings, and was sometimes called the "Alleghenys" (not the "Alleghenies") in the same generic way that teams from Boston, New York, and Chicago were sometimes called the "Bostons", the "New Yorks", and the "Chicagos", in the sportswriting style of that era.
The Allegheny club transferred to the National League in 1887. By about 1890 the team had redesignated itself as "Pittsburgh", although Allegheny remained a separate city until it was annexed by Pittsburgh in 1907.
When the one-year player rebellion known as the Players' League dissolved after the 1890 season, most of the league's player contracts were assigned to National League and American Association clubs, mostly to their previous clubs provided they had been "reserved" by their former teams' owners. Highly regarded second baseman Lou Bierbauer, who had previously played with the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association, was awarded to the Pittsburgh team on the grounds that the Athletics had not reserved him. This led to loud complaints by the Athletics that the Pittsburgh club were "pirates". This incident (which is discussed at some length in The Beer and Whisky League, by David Nemec, 1994) quickly accelerated into a schism between the leagues that contributed to the demise of the A.A. The colorful epithet stuck with the Pittsburghers, and eventually became the club's official nickname. It was first acknowledged on the team's uniforms in 1912, but even by the 1903 World Series, "Pirates" was in common usage.
The 2006 season got off to a slow start with the Pirates losing their first six games. Manager Jim Tracy earned his first win as the new Pirate's skipper on April 9 against the Cincinnati Reds. The Pirates hosted the All Star Game at PNC Park. The Pirates went into the game with a disastrous and disappointing 30-60 record. During the second half of the season, the Pirates made a successful turn around and finished the second half with a 37-35 record. This is the first time the Pirates have finished the second half of the season with a winning record since 1992. Third baseman Freddy Sanchez won the National League batting title for the 2006 season with an average of .344.
2007 was a year of transition for the Pirates. Robert Nutting replaced McClatchy as majority owner, becoming the sixth majority owner in Pirates history. On July 6, 2007, Kevin McClatchy announced he would step down as the Pirates CEO at the end of the 2007 season. On September 7, 2007, Nutting fired general manager Dave Littlefield.
The Pittsburgh Pirates began to shape their organizational management as the fall of 2007 came. On September 13, Frank Coonelly, chief labor counsel for Major League Baseball, was introduced as the team's new president. On September 25, 2007, the Pirates announced the hiring of Neal Huntington, formerly a scout in the Cleveland Indians organization, as the team's new general manager. On October 5, 2007, Jim Tracy was fired by the Pirates, leaving them with another search for a manager. Torey Lovullo had originally been named as a leading candidate for the position, but his name was gradually replaced by others in the minor league ranks, one being Ottawa Lynx manager John Russell, who eventually was named the new manager November 5, 2007. He had originally been the third base coach under previous manager Lloyd McClendon from 2003-2005 until he was fired by the previous General Manager Dave Littlefield.
Information excerpted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh_Pirates. All Rights Reserved.
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