Greatest Pittsburgh Pirates Sluggers of All-Time
Bill Mazeroski's Legendary Home Run
The Pirates have struggled in recent years, with fifteen consecutive losing seasons. Still, this franchise is rich with tradition and had some incredible teams over the last thirty or forty years. Here is a list of the team's all-time Top 10 in home runs:
Willie Stargell (475)-Willie "Pops" Stargell is maybe the most beloved Pirates' player ever. Stargell manned first base for Pittsburgh from 1962 to 1982, and was always a threat to the opposing pitcher to hit one out. He leads the Pirates all-time with 475 career homers with the team and helped lead them to World Series titles in 1971 and 1979. Stargell's best season was 1971, when he hit .295 with 48 homers and 125 runs batted in.
Ralph Kiner (301)-Ralph Kiner could have hit 600 home runs if he had stayed healthy, but injuries forced retirement after only 10 seasons in the bigs. Kiner is almost as well known for being a broadcaster for the New York Mets as he is for slugging home runs in Pittsburgh. Kiner played for the Pirates from 1946 to 1953 and ranks second all-time on the team with 301 homers. His best season there was 1949, when he batted .310 with 54 home runs and 127 RBI.
Roberto Clemente (240)-Outfielder Roberto Clemente was another great Pirates player and was a complete player-speed, power, average, and defense. Clemente was a lifetime .317 hitter (all with Pittsburgh) and also ranks third in Pirates' history with 240 home runs. His best season was his MVP season of 1966 when he batted .317 with 29 homers and 119 RBI. Clemente tragically passed away in a plane crash following the 1972 season.
Barry Bonds (176)-It's hard for most of us to remember that Barry Bonds began his career in Pittsburgh, but he did, playing there for seven seasons (1986-1992). Bonds would go on to have some of the greatest seasons ever for any player in history, but he did start out with a band in Pittsburgh and was a part of the last Pirates' team to make the playoffs (1992). Bonds hit 176 of his 762 career homers with the Pirates, and won two NL MVP Awards there (1990 and 1992). Bonds' best season in a Pirates' uniform was 1992, when he batted .311 with 34 home runs and 103 runs batted in.
Dave Parker (166)-Dave Parker was large and imposing at the plate. I distinctly remember a play when he bowled over Mets' catcher John Stearns at the plate, with Stearns hanging on to the ball. Parker also was quite the slugger, and during his time with Pittsburgh (1973-1983) he hit 166 homers, ranking him fifth all-time with the team.
Parker's best season with the Pirates was 1978, when he won the NL MVP Award by batting .334 with 30 homers and 117 RBI.
Brian Giles (165)-Outfielder Brian Giles has had a very nice, steady career for fourteen seasons now with Cleveland, Pittsburgh and San Diego. But he put up his best numbers in a Pirates' uniform from 1999 to 2003. Giles ranks sixth in team history with 165 homers, and his best season there was 1999, when he batted .315 with 39 homers and 115 RBI.
Frank Thomas (163)-Outfielder Frank Thomas (not to be confused with the great White Sox player) was a journeyman slugger and played for Pittsburgh from 1951 to 1958. Thomas ranks seventh all-time with 163 home runs for the Pirates. His best season there was 1958 when he batted .281 with career highs in home runs (35) and RBI (109).
Bill Mazeroski (138)-Second baseman Bill Mazeroski may be best remembered for his Series-winning home run against the Yankees in 1960, but he was a steady player for the Pirates (played his whole career there) from 1956 to 1972. Mazeroski ranks eighth in team history with 138 homers, and his best power season was 1958 when he batted 275 with 19 homers and 68 RBI.
Jason Bay (136)-Outfielder Jason Bay came over to Pittsburgh in the trade that sent Brian Giles to San Diego in 2003. He won the NL Rookie of the Year in 2004 and is still a fixture in the Pirates' outfield in 2008. Bay's best season was 2006 when he hit .286 with 35 homers and 109 RBI, and he currently ranks ninth with 136 home runs for the team.
Kevin Young (136)-Kevin Young played most of his career in Pittsburgh (1992-95 and 1997-2003). Young is tied for ninth all-time for Pittsburgh with 136 home runs, and his best season was 1998 when he hit .270 with 27 home runs and 108 runs batted in.