Returning that date (October 17) in 1971, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 in Game 7 of the World Series to win their fourth of five championships. The Buccos also won in 1909, 1925, 1960 and 1979.
The 1971 team was already world famous for being the first team to field and field only minorities on September 1 earlier that year, making history books. And then they added to their legacy with the series victory over Baltimore in a seven-man back-and-forth that saw Pittsburgh lose the first two games before coming back to win three in a row, with the teams parting ways. last two contests.
Roberto Clemente was named World Series MVP for hitting .414 with 2 homers, 2 doubles, triple and 4 RBIs. Manny Sanguillen also had one hell of a streak, averaging .379, playing all seven games. Bob Robertson slammed 2 home runs against Baltimore and led the team with 5 RBIs.
Steve Blass went 2-0 on the mound, pitching full games in Games Three and Seven. He finished the series with a ridiculous 1.00 ERA line, 0.611 WHIP and 13 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched. After Clemente, he was Pittsburgh’s next MVP.
The Orioles were the best in the 101-57 league this season and entered the series as favorites after sweeping Oakland Athletics’ 101 wins, led by Reggie Jackson, in the AL Championship.
The Pirates, meanwhile, won all of the NL’s best 97 games that year and beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 in the NL Championship. Nice work from the Bucs and the Orioles putting this Bay Bridge series on hold until 1989.
Be sure to check out Austin’s post from the start of the year on Pittsburgh’s revolutionary all-minority lineup, and there’s also a pretty cool post in the Trib this morning that delves into the 1971 series.
Happy birthday, Buccos!