Manager • Number Retired 1954
Born January 14, 1892 in Knoxville, TN, died March 31, 1957 in Knoxville. Threw and batted righthanded. A catcher with the White Sox and Athletics (1913, 1916-17), Meyer won eight pennants as a manager of minor league clubs from 1926 through 1947 before becoming Pirates manager in 1948. Known for his rapport with players, fans and the press, Meyer managed in Pittsburgh for five seasons, compiling a record of 317-452. He was The Sporting News Manager-of-the-Year in 1948 when the Bucs compiled a record of 83-71. Following his five-year tenure as Pirates manager, Meyer was a Pittsburgh scout for three years.
Outfielder • Number Retired 1987
Born October 27, 1922 in Santa Rita, NM, died February 6, 2014 in Rancho Mirage, CA. Threw and batted righthanded. A Hall of Famer (inducted in 1975), Kiner ranks second on club's all-time home run list (301). Won or shared N.L. home run title in each of his seven full seasons with Pittsburgh (1946-1952), a streak unmatched in either league. Hit a club-record 54 homers in 1949 and had a club-record .567 slugging pct. in Pirates career. Was the key player in 10-man deal with the Cubs on June 4, 1953. Played with Cubs (1953-54) and Cleveland (1955) before back ailment ended his career prematurely. Hit 369 home runs in 10-year career, averaging 7.1 per 100 at-bats, which ranks among the best in major league history.
First Base • Number Retired 1982
Born March 6, 1941 in Earlsboro, OK, died April 9, 2001 in Wilmington, NC. Threw and batted lefthanded. ''Pops'' compiled a remarkable career in a 21-year span from 1962 through 1982 with the Pirates. In 2,360 games he batted .282 with 475 home runs, seven home runs in post-season play, and 1,540 RBI. The Bucs' all-time home run, RBI and extra base hits king, Willie also ranks in the Pirates' top 10 in games, at bats, runs, hits, singles, doubles and total bases. Willie was a seven-time All-Star pick. In 1979 he was the N.L.'s co-MVP and the MVP in the LCS and World Series. Stargell became the 17th player elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility (inducted in 1988).
Second Base • Number Retired 1987
Born September 5, 1936 in Wheeling, WV. Threw and batted righthanded. His well-chronicled home run against the Yankees gave Pittsburgh the 1960 World Championship. During his 17-year career with Pittsburgh (1956-1972), the Hall-of-Famer won eight Gold Glove awards and earned a reputation as one of the finest fielding second basemen in the history of the game. Among the major league records for second basemen "Maz" holds are: most seasons leading league in assists (nine), most seasons leading league in double plays (eight), most double plays in a single season (161 in 1966) and most career double plays (1,707). A seven-time N.L. All-Star, he compiled a .260 lifetime average with 138 home runs and 853 runs batted in. Mazeroski was inducted into Hall of Fame in 2001.
Outfielder • Number Retired 2007
Born April 16, 1903 in Harrah, OK, died August 29, 1965 in Sarasota, FL. Threw and batted lefthanded. One of the most dominating players in baseball during his 15 years with the Pirates (1926-1939), Waner led all major league players in hits (1,959) during the decade of the '30's. He batted .336 in his rookie campaign of 1926 and became the first player in team history to capture the N.L. Most Valuable Player award a year later. A four-time All-Star and three-time batting champion, "Big Poison" ended his career with 3,152 hits. His .340 average with Pittsburgh ranks first in club history and he ranks among the top 10 in 11 other offensive categories. Waner was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1952.
Third Base • Number Retired 1972
Born November 11, 1899 in Framingham, MA, died March 16, 1972 in Pittsburgh. Threw and batted righthanded. Harold (Pie) Traynor was one of the finest third basemen in major league history, earning that reputation in a 17-year playing career spent entirely with the Pirates (1920-1935, 1937). Regarded as an outstanding defensive player, Traynor was also adept with the bat, compiling a lifetime .320 average. While he hit just 58 home runs, he managed to drive in 1,273 runs. Pie ranks in the Pirates' top 10 in games, at bats, runs, hits, singles, doubles, triples, total bases, RBI, extra-base hits, batting average and stolen bases. The Hall of Famer (inducted in 1948) also managed the Pirates from 1934 through 1939.
Outfielder • Number Retired 1973
Born August 18, 1934 in Carolina, P.R., died December 31, 1972 in San Juan, P.R. Threw and batted righthanded. A Hall of Famer (inducted in 1973), Roberto Clemente was selected by the Pirates in the player draft when the Brooklyn Dodgers left him unprotected after the 1954 season, his first as a professional. For the next 18 years Clemente starred in the Pirates outfield. He won four N.L. batting crowns and batted .317 in his career, with 240 home runs and 1,305 RBI. He also won 12 Gold Glove Awards. He hit safely in all seven games in both the 1960 and 1971 World Series, winning the Series MVP Award in 1971 when he batted .414 with two homers against Baltimore. Clemente was a 12-time All-Star and the N.L. MVP in 1966. He ranks in the Pirates' top 10 in 12 offensive categories. He died with four others when a plane carrying supplies to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua crashed.
Shortstop • Number Retired 1952
Born February 24, 1874 in Carnegie, PA, died December 6, 1955 in Carnegie. Threw and batted righthanded. One of five players originally elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936, Honus Wagner is widely regarded as the best shortstop to ever play the game. ''The Flying Dutchman'' won eight N.L. batting crowns - second only to Ty Cobb's 12 titles - during a 17-year stretch in which he batted over .300 in each season. Wagner came to Pittsburgh in 1900 after three seasons with Louisville, a franchise that had disbanded. He played with the Bucs until 1917 and ended his career with a .329 average and 101 homers. Wagner was a coach with the Pirates between 1933 and 1951. He ranks among the Pirates' top 10 in 11 offensive categories.
Manager • Number Retired 1977
Born, October 8, 1917 in Chester, PA, died December 2, 1976 in Chester. Threw and batted righthanded. A second baseman with the Phillies, Braves and Pirates (1941-43, 46-51), Danny Murtaugh was one of the most successful managers in Pirates history. He managed the Bucs in four different stints during 15 seasons between 1957 and 1976. During that time he became one of only 36 managers to win 1,000 games, compiling a record of 1,115-950, his win total ranking second on the Pirates all-time list to Fred Clarke's 1,422. He led the Pirates to five Eastern Division crowns and two World Series Championships (1960 and 1971). He was named The Sporting News Manager-of-the-Year in 1960 and 1970.
Outfielder • Number Retired League-Wide in 1997
Born January 31, 1919 in Cairo, GA, died October 24, 1972 in Stamford, CT. Threw and batted righthanded. Known forever as the first black player in the major leagues, Jack Roosevelt Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947 to 1956, helping them to six pennants in a 10-year span and to their only World Championship in 1955. He was named the N.L. Rookie-of-the-Year in 1947 and the league's MVP in 1949. A six-time All-Star, Robinson also became the first man to integrate the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. In 1997, as a tribute to the legacy he created, Major League Baseball retired his number 42 league-wide on the 50th Anniversary of his breaking the game's color barrier. The Pirates officially retired his number in a pre-game ceremony on July 12, 1997.
LEGACY SQUARE AT PNC PARK
Welcome to Legacy Square! The Pirates are very proud of our 129-year history. Throughout those years, thousands of talented athletes have worn the Pirates uniform and represented the City of Pittsburgh across the United States. Seven former Pirates greats are honored by banners that now fly over Legacy Square.
The Legacy of baseball in Pittsburgh, however, goes beyond the Pittsburgh Pirates. Prior to baseball's integration in 1947, Negro League Baseball flourished in Pittsburgh though the legendary Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays. Seven of those teams' most famous players are also honored by Legacy Square banners.
In September 1988, the Pirates marked the 40th anniversary of the 1948 Negro League World Series, the last ever held. Men who played for the winning 1948 squad, the Homestead Grays, as well as former member of their cross-town rivals, the Pittsburgh Crawfords stood on the field at Three Rivers Stadium and listened as Pittsburgh Pirates President Carl Barger apologized for baseball's color line.
Clubs throughout baseball now regularly honor the black teams that played in leagues of their own. Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti, applauded the ceremony. "We must never lose sight of our history," he said, "insofar as it is ugly, never to repeat it, and insofar as it is glorious, to cherish it." The Pirates continue to cherish that history.
NEGRO LEAGUE BASEBALL HISTORY
Content courtesy of Rob Ruck, Department of History, University of Pittsburgh
During the half-century that a color line divided the nation, African Americans created a baseball world of their own. One of the first national black institutions to emerge after Reconstruction, the Negro Leagues helped knit together African American communities after the Great Migration out of the South. Black baseball was a source of cohesion and identity, an arena in which African Americans defined themselves with competence and grace at a time when the workplace and politics made it difficult to do either.
During the 1930s and '40s, with Cool Papa Bell gliding around the base-paths, Josh Gibson hitting balls further than anybody had ever seen before, and Satchel Paige walking the bases loaded on purpose, telling his fielders to sit down, and striking out the side, Pittsburgh became black baseball's crossroads.
Hall of Famer Cumberland Posey Jr. transformed a team that men at the Homestead Steelworks had formed at the turn of the century into black baseball's champion Homestead Grays. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Crawfords emerged on the Hill District, evolving from a sandlot squad into what might have been baseball's best team ever.
Together, they won over a dozen Negro League titles; seven of the first 11 Negro Leaguers inducted in the Hall of Fame played for one or both of these squads, including the men featured here. And stories about their exploits were told and retold throughout the country and into the Caribbean.
When the Brooklyn Dodgers signed Kansas City Monarch shortstop Jackie Robinson to a contract with their top farm club in the fall of 1945, the Pittsburgh Courier wrote that Robinson carried "the hopes, aspirations and ambitions of thirteen million black Americans heaped on his broad, sturdy shoulders." Indeed, baseball's 'great experiment,' was a catalyst for racial change, making it easier for the Supreme Court to de-segregate public education in 1954, and energizing countless struggles that sought to change the racial landscape. Meanwhile, integration meant that the major leagues received their richest infusion of talent to date; African Americans changed baseball as men schooled in the Negro Leagues brought a revelatory combination of speed and power to the majors.
Baseball's integration, while important and long overdue, came with a cost-the end of the Negro Leagues. And black America suffered a profound loss of control over its own sporting life. As Robinson, the National League rookie of the year in 1947, showed the nation that African American players could hold their own in the majors, the Negro Leagues disintegrated. After losing players and fans to the majors, the Negro National League ceased play after the 1948 season, while the Negro American League lasted through the 1950s, mostly as a barnstorming circuit.
PIRATES GREATS IN LEGACY SQUARE
Born: July 24, 1964 in Riverside, CA
.298 BA - 2,935 H - 762 HR - 1,996 RBI - 514 SB
Barry Bonds was one of the most feared hitters in Major League Baseball in a career that spanned from 1986 to 2007. The former first round selection by the Pirates hit 176 of his Major League record 762 home runs while playing for Pittsburgh from 1986 to 1992. Bonds helped lead the Pirates to three straight National League Championship Series appearances from 1990-92. During that stretch, he captured National League Most Valuable Player honors twice after taking home the award in both 1990 and 1992. He is the only player in the club's storied history to take home MVP honors on two occasions.
Born: November 4, 1930 in Wilkinsburg, PA
.286 BA - 2,138 H - 707 RBI - 14 SB
Dick Groat is remembered as one of Pittsburgh's best clutch performers and one of the few players ever to step right off a college campus and into the Majors. Groat was signed by the Pirates out of Duke University and made his big league debut just three days later. A five-time All-Star during his 14 years in the big leagues, Groat's finest season in the big leagues came in 1960 after he was named the National League's Most Valuable Player while he also won the batting title after hitting .325 for the World Series Champion Pirates. Groat also teamed with Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski to form one of baseball's all-time great double play combinations.
Born: October 27, 1922 in Santa Rita, NM
.279 BA - 1,451 H - 369 HR - 1,015 RBI - 22 SB
Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner was known as one of the most prolific power hitters of his time after sharing or leading the league in home runs in each of his seven full seasons with the Pirates from 1946-52. The right-handed hitting slugger ranks second in club history with 301 career home runs. In 1949 he recorded a single-season club record 54 home runs while his .567 career slugging percentage in the black and gold ranks first in the team's storied history. The Pirates retired his no. 4 jersey in 1987 while in 2003 the team unveiled a sculpture of the Hall of Famer behind the left field bleacher seats at PNC Park.
Born: June 9, 1951 in Grenada, MS
.290 BA - 2,712 H - 339 HR - 1,493 RBI - 154 SB
Dave Parker was one of the most feared hitters in the game of baseball in a career that saw him hat 339 home runs while collecting 1,493 RBI. Parker took home back-to-back batting titles after hitting .338 in 1977 and .334 in 1978 with the Bucs. In 1978, he became the first Pirate since Roberto Clemente to take home National League Most Valuable Player honors after hitting 30 home runs with a league-leading 340 total bases and .585 slugging percentage. Over a five season stretch from 1977 to 1981, Parker started in four All-Star Games while being named the MVP of the 1979 Midsummer Classic.
Born: March 21, 1944 in Colon, Panama
.296 BA - 1,500 H - 65 HR - 585 RBI - 35 SB
Known for his infectious smile, Manny Sanguillen helped the Pirates win two World Series in a career that saw him tally a total of 1,500 hits and .296 lifetime batting average. In 1971, Sanguillen was behind the plate for Game Seven when Pirates great Steve Blass tossed a four-hit shutout to give the Bucs their fourth World Series crown. After hitting .379 during the '71 Fall Classic, Sanguillen came through again as a member of the 1979 We are Family World Series team after driving in the winning run of Game Two with a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning. Sanguillen ranks third all-time in club history with 1,037 games played at catcher and was named to the All-Star team in 1971, 1972 and again in 1975.
Born: March 16, 1906 in Harrah, OK
.316 BA - 2,459 H - 27 HR - 598 RBI - 67 SB
Lloyd Waner burst onto the Major League scene in 1927 and partnered with his brother Paul to form one of the greatest outfields in Pirates history for more than a decade. Waner, who was nicknamed "Little Poison", collected 223 hits during his rookie year, including a modern day Major League record 198 singles. Waner tallied a total of 2,317 hits as a member of the Pirates during his Hall of Fame career, including 1,906 singles, which ranks fourth in team history. Over the course of his 18-year playing career, Waner hit .316 while playing in just under 2,000 games.
Born: April 16, 1903 in Harrah, OK
.333 BA - 3,152 H - 113 HR - 1,309 RBI - 104 SB
Paul Waner was one of the most dominating players during his 15-year career as a member of the Pirates. He became the seventh player in Major League history to collect at least 3,000 hits, while also finishing his career with 605 doubles (11th all time) and 191 triples (10th all time). During his career with the Pirates from 1926 to 1940, Waner hit .342 and led all players with 2,868 hits, 558 doubles and 187 triples. Waner and his brother Lloyd accumulated a total of 5,611 hits combined in their careers, which are the most ever by brothers. Waner was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1952 and the Pirates retired his no. 11 jersey in 2007. In 1927, he received National League Most Valuable Player citations while his .340 career average as a member of the Pirates is still tops among all players in the team's long history.
NEGRO LEAGUE GREATS IN LEGACY SQUARE
James "Cool Papa" Bell
Born: May 17, 1903 in Starkville, MS
.316 BA - 1,066 H - 33 HR - 211 RBI - 132 SB
James "Cool Papa" Bell began his playing career in 1922 with the St. Louis Stars of the Negro League. Known as one of the fastest players to ever play the game of baseball, Cool Papa was said to be able to round the bases in 12 seconds. Bell also spent a good portion of his career in the city of Pittsburgh after playing for both the Pittsburgh Crawfords (1933-38) and Homestead Grays (1932, 1943-46). The switch-hitting Bell regularly hit over .300 during his remarkable career while also topping a .400 batting average on occasion. Cool Papa Bell, who played 29 summers and 21 winters of professional baseball, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.
Born: October 14, 1896 in Indianapolis, IN
.339 BA - 1,350 H - 141 HR - 602 RBI - 226 SB
Oscar Charleston spent 40 years in the Negro Leagues and made his mark as both a versatile player and successful manager. Charleston's best season arguably came in 1921 after he hit over .400 and led the Negro National League in doubles, triples and home runs. He also won batting titles in the Eastern Colored League in 1924 and 1925, and led the American Negro League in hitting in 1928. Charleston, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976, joined the Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1932 as a player-manager and managed the club many consider the best Negro League team of all time, featuring five future Hall of Famers including himself, Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, Judy Johnson and Satchel Paige.
Born: December 21, 1911 in Buena Vista, GA
.350 BA - 638 H - 107 HR - 351 RBI - 26 SB
Josh Gibson was considered the greatest home run hitter of his era in the Negro Leagues. The switch-hitting catcher became the second Negro League player ever to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 after clubbing nearly 800 home runs in a 17-year career in league and independent baseball. Known for his home run hitting prowess, powerful arm, quick release and agility, the former star of both the Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Grays was credited with being the Negro National League batting champion from 1936-38 and again from 1942-45.
William "Judy" Johnson
Born: December 26, 1899 in Snow Hill, MD
.293 BA - 876 H - 286 RBI - 59 SB
Judy johnson was known as one of the best third basemen to ever play in the Negro Leagues whose career was highlighted by being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975. In 1924 he helped lead the Hilldale Stars to an appearance in the first ever Negro World Series. Johnson was named the Negro League's Most Valuable Player in 1929 by the Pittsburgh Courier and Chicago Defender, which were two of the leading black newspapers. He became a player-manager for the Homestead Grays in 1930 and in 1935 captained a Pittsburgh Crawfords club featuring many future Hall of Famers to a Negro League Championship.
Born: September 8, 1907 in Rocky Mount, NC
.320 BA - 471 H - 60 HR - 275 RBI - 25 SB
Buck Leonard spent his entire 17-year playing career as a member of the legendary Homestead Grays. In the early 1940s, Leonard helped lead the Grays to four consecutive Negro League World Series appearances, including back-to-back Series wins in 1943 and 1944. In 1948 Leonard took home Negro National League batting title honors after posting a remarkable .391 average on the season. The first baseman was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972, while in 1999 The Sporting News ranked him no. 47 on its list of the 100 greatest baseball players.
Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige
Born: July 7, 1906 in Mobile, AL
MLB: 476 IP - 3.29 ERA - 28 W - 288 K
Negro League: 1298.2 IP - 3.22 ERA - 100 W - 1,170 K
Satchel Paige was one of the most dominating pitchers in the Negro Leagues from 1926 to 1947 before playing in Major League Baseball with the Cleveland Indians. Paige, who was signed by Cleveland at the age of 42, helped pitch the Indians to the pennant in his first big league season after going 6-1 with three complete games, a save and 2.47 ERA. Paige spent a majority of his Negro League career pitching for the Kansas City Monarchs, but also spent time locally in Pittsburgh as a member of the Crawfords. In 1971, he was given baseball's ultimate honor after being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Smokey Joe Williams
Born: April 6, 1885 in Seguin, TX
1,186.0 IP - 3.79 ERA - 84 W - 726 K
Recognized as one of the greatest stars in the early years of the Negro Leagues, Smokey Joe Williams was remembered for his fastball, smooth motion and great control. One of his top single-game performances came in 1930 when he struck out a total of 27 Kansas City Monarchs while allowing just one hit in a 12-inning, 1-0 victory. The feared righthander was also voted the top pitcher in Negro League history in a 1952 poll conducted by the Pittsburgh Courier. Williams pitched for several teams during his illustrious career and received the game's highest honor in 1999 when he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.