Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

MLB News

It's been such a long time for the Bucs

Statistical nuggets abound from the start until the end of Pirates' streak @TracyRingolsby

Before this year, how long had it been since the Pittsburgh Pirates enjoyed a winning season?

So long that since the start of the 1993 season:

Before this year, how long had it been since the Pittsburgh Pirates enjoyed a winning season?

So long that since the start of the 1993 season:

• The Pirates set a North American professional team sports record with 20 consecutive losing seasons. The longest remaining streak in baseball is nine years by Kansas City, and the Royals are six wins away from ending that streak. That would leave Houston and the Mets, expansion cousins of 1962, with the longest active streaks in baseball at five seasons, including this season. The Astros have lost 96 games this year and the Mets have dropped 79, with 19 games left on their schedule.

• Every Major League team other than Kansas City has had at least one postseason appearance. The Royals have been held out of the playoffs since they won the World Series in 1985. Pittsburgh won the National League East from 1990-92, but the Bucs haven't won a World Series since 1979.

• Nineteen Major League teams have advanced to the World Series, with 11 winning championships since then. The Yankees have appeared in 17 of the 19 postseasons (1994 was canceled because of the players' strike), advanced to the World Series seven times and won five World Series championships.

• Twenty-two NFL teams have appeared in the Super Bowl, including the Pittsburgh Steelers four times, and 12 NFL teams have won the Super Bowl, including the Steelers twice.

• Major League Baseball has expanded by four teams, adding the Rockies and Marlins in 1993 and the D-backs and Rays in 1998.

• Major League Baseball has realigned twice. Milwaukee moved from the American League to the NL in 1998. MLB went to three-division setups in both leagues in 1994 and expanded the postseason to include best-of-five Division Series in each league. Houston moved from the NL to the AL this year, and MLB has adjusted Interleague Play to provide for Interleague games throughout the regular season.

• A Wild Card team was added to the playoffs in both leagues in 1994 (though the playoffs were canceled that season due to the strike)], and a second Wild Card team was adopted in 2012, creating a Wild Card Gamer in each league to determine which one would advance to the Division Series.

• There were 193 Major League managerial hirings, including 11 by the Marlins and Astros, 10 by the Orioles, Blue Jays and Reds, and nine each for the Cubs and Royals. The Pirates have had seven skippers since 1993, including Jim Leyland, who also has managed Florida, Colorado and Detroit. In addition to Leyland and current manager Clint Hurdle, the men who had filled out the Bucs' lineup card since '93 were Gene Lamont, Lloyd McClendon, Pete Mackanin (interim), Jim Tracy and John Russell.

• There is no active player today who had been in the big leagues in 1992 or earlier. Five such players were still around last year -- Omar Vizquel, Jamie Moyer, Jim Thome and Miguel Batista, who pitched in one game with Pittsburgh in '92. Left-handed Darren Oliver of Toronto is the elder statesmen among active players, having debuted in 1993, the first year of the Pirates' drought.

• The Bucs had lost 1,857 games from Opening Day 1993 until Monday's 82nd victory, more than any NL team and five fewer than Kansas City. The Yankees, by contrast, lost 1,348 games and won 1,965 -- 509 more wins than Pittsburgh.

• The Pirates have had 435 players appear in a uniform, led by catcher Jason Kendall, who appeared in 1,252 games. Only three of players appeared in games in more than seven seasons with the Bucs -- Kevin Young (10 seasons), Kendall (nine) and Jack Wilson (nine).

• Pittsburgh has had five general managers (Ted Simmons, Cam Bonifay, Dave Littlefield, Brian Graham (interim) and Neal Huntington) and seven scouting directors (Jack Zduriencik, Paul Tinnell, Leland Maddox, Mickey White, Ed Creech, Greg Smith and Joe DelliCarri).

• The Bucs have had 173 players hit a home run, led by Brian Giles, with 165.

• The Pirates have had 230 pitchers appear in a game, led by John Grabow, with 390 appearances (all in relief).

• Pittsburgh has had 103 pitchers start a game, led by Paul Maholm with 185 starts. Maholm also led 157 winning pitchers with 53 victories and 173 losing pitchers with 73 defeats.

• The Bucs have had 63 pitchers earn a save, led by Mike Williams with 140, and 91 pitchers with a save opportunity, led by Williams' 162.

• The Pirates have had 126 players attempt to steal a base, led by Kendall with 205 attempts, and 93 players who stole a base, led by Al Martin, with 152 thefts.

• Pittsburgh has had 18 players who qualified for a batting title and hit .300 or better, including Freddy Sanchez, who led the NL with a .344 average in 2006. Colorado has had seven batting champions, including Larry Walker three times. Tony Gwynn of San Diego won four batting titles.

• The Pirates have had 19 pitchers start the past 21 Opening Days, including Francisco Cordova (1998-99) and Oliver Perez (2005-06) twice each; 14 starting first basemen; 13 right fielders; 12 third basemen; 11 second basemen, left fielders and center fielders; and 14 catchers. Center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who has made four Opening Day starts in a row, and second basemen Neil Walker (three), have the longest active Opening Day streaks in Pittsburgh.

• The Bucs suffered two 100-loss seasons (58-103 in 2010 and 62-100 in 2001) and 10 seasons in which they lost at least 90 games.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for