Thursday, September 01, 2016


On September 1, 1971, the Pittsburgh Pirates fielded the first major league baseball team in history comprised completely of African American and Latino players.  This team would go on to make similar World Series history.  It included several All-Stars and two future Hall of Fame players in Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell.  Also starting were Rennie Stennent, who was back in the news this year when Brandon Crawford matched his 7 hits in one game record, All-Star catcher Manny Sanguillen and pitcher Dock Ellis.

This was also the Pirates era of longevity.  Clemente and Bill Mazeroski were among the players who had starred 11 years before on the 1960 World Champion Pirates, and would again with this team.  Their manager was also the same: Danny Murtaugh.  Bill Virdon, center fielder for the 1960 champs, was a  Pirates coach in 1971.

This was the Pirates' 90th season, and their first away from Forbes Field--they'd inaugurated Three Rivers Stadium the previous July.  They beat the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship series and the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.  Roberto Clemente would be named the World Series MVP.

No comments: