The Top 10 Postseason Moments of the Pittsburgh Pirates

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The Top 10 Postseason Moments of the Pittsburgh Pirates
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A souvenir card from the 1903 World Series, which featured the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston America …

The Pittsburgh Pirates' inability to make the playoffs has continued despite a hopeful start to the 2012 MLB season.

Yet the Pirates have had some memorable playoff appearances.

Here are the top 10 playoff moments in the history of the Pirates:

10. A Comeack in the Fog

The Pirates were down in the 1925 World Series three games to one. They had made a significant comeback to face Walter Johnson -- who was looking for his third win of the playoffs -- of the Washington Senators in Game 7. As the evening progressed, dense fog filled Forbes Field and the Senators made key errors in the seventh and eighth innings, allowing the Pirates to score four unearned runs and win the game as well as the World Series.

9. Pops Dominates

In the 1979 NLCS, the Pirates squared off against the Cincinnati Reds in what would be a stunning sweep for Pittsburgh. Game 1 went 11 innings and was capped off by an upper-deck three-run home run by Willie Stargell that deflated the Reds for the remainder of the playoffs.

8. Two Gems by Blass

The 1972 NLCS saw not one but two gems by Pirates ace Steve Blass. He may have only won one of the games he started, but his 1.72 ERA over 15 2/3 innings pitched versus a lethal Reds lineup -- though the Reds won the series. 

7. Kison Struggles and Struggles (But Wins)

In 1974, the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers held a two-games-to-none lead over the Pirates, who turned to Bruce Kison in the third game of the series. Kison, consistently in trouble during his 6 2/3 innings pitched, walked a half dozen as the Pirates extended the series with a 7-0 win. Sadly, it would be the only memorable moment of the playoffs for an otherwise dreadful run for Pittsburgh.

6. Wasting Drabek

One of the greatest pitching performances in NLCS history came in 1991 when Doug Drabek pitched 15 innings versus the Atlanta Braves -- yielding just one run in two games started. Unfortunately, for Drabek, the Pirates' offense struggled mightily versus the Braves' pitching. The Braves won the series in seven games.

5. Pounding Ditmar

Poor Art Ditmar. Despite a stellar 1960 season for the New York Yankees (15 wins, 3.06 ERA in the regular season) the Pirates abused the Yankees starter in the two games he started. He finished the series with a 21.60 ERA. The Pirates couldn't hit Ford (0.00 ERA, two complete-game wins) but they feasted off of Ditmar.

4. We Are Family

The Pirates won the 1979 World Series over the Baltimore Orioles in seven games. MVP Willie Stargell was magnificent, batting .400 with three home runs with seven RBIs.

3. Clemente the Great

The 1971 World Series would be the last appearance of Roberto Clemente before his tragic death in 1972. The Pirates won a contested battle with the Baltimore Orioles in seven games, and Clemente was the World Series MVP. He batted .414 with two homers and drove in four runs. It was the only World Series appearance by Clemente during his illustrious career.

2. The First World Series

In 1903, the Pittsburgh Pirates played in the very first World Series. Taking on the Boston Americans, the Pirates fell in eight games as staff ace Sam Leever (a 25-game winner during the regular season) lost the two games he started, posting a 5.40 ERA. The Pirates blew a three-games-to-one lead, losing four in a row as the Americans dominated the stretch, outscoring Pittsburgh 27 to 8.

1. The Walkoff in 1960

The Pirates may not own the most memorable of World Series moments, but they may own the most famous moment. In Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, Pittsburgh blew a 9-7 lead in the top of the ninth versus the heavily favored New York Yankees. With the scored tied 9-9, defensive whiz Bill Mazeroski stepped to the plate and hammered the second pitched he saw off of Ralph Terry for the first game-winning home run in World Series history.

Sources:

baseball-reference,com

baseball-almanac.com

pbs.com

Samantha Eagleson grew up in Williamsport, Penn. In a household dominated by Pittsburgh sports fans, there was little choice other than to join the madness as a lover of the Pirates and Steelers. Today, Samantha and her husband still make frequent trips to PNC Park to root for the Bucs.

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