Manager Danny Murtaugh was one of the most beloved and successful figures in the storied history of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The former second baseman managed Pittsburgh to two World Series championships and a total of five Eastern Division crowns over parts of 15 seasons and four stints with the Pirates from 1957 to 1976.
Murtaugh finished his managerial career with a record of 1,115-950, which ranks second in the 123-year history of the Pirates behind Fred Clarke's 1,602 victories from 1900-15. His .540 winning percentage ranks higher than eight other managers currently enshrined in the Hall of Fame, including Ned Hanlon (.530), Tommy Lasorda (.526), Bill McKechnie (.526), Dick Williams (.520), Casey Stengel (.508), Wilbert Robinson (.500), Bucky Harris (.493) and Connie Mack (.486).
Murtaugh was appointed manager of a Pittsburgh squad on August 3, 1957 that finished that season in seventh place and 33.0 games out of first place. Just one year later in his first full season as the club's skipper, Murtaugh's club finished with an 84-70 record and second place finish behind the Milwaukee Braves. In 1960, Murtaugh's Pirates brought a World Series crown back to Pittsburgh for the first time since 1925 after beating the New York Yankees in the only Game Seven walkoff home run in World Series history by Bill Mazeroski off Ralph Terry at Forbes Field. For his efforts in 1960, Murtaugh received the Manager-of-the-Year Award by the Sporting News after guiding the Pittsburgh club to its first 95-win season since 1925.
Pittsburgh's 90-win season in 1960 was a sign of things to come under Murtaugh's tenure. In fact, during the course of his career as a Pirates skipper, the Pirates accumulated at least 90 victories on five different occasions.
During the 1970s the Pirates returned to prominence under the direction of Murtaugh in the dugout. In 1970, the Battlin' Bucs won the Eastern Division after finishing with an 89-73 record that helped Murtaugh earn his second Sporting News Manager-of-the-Year Award. One year later the Pirates were crowned World Series champs for the fourth time in club history and second time in Murtaugh's tenure after defeating the Baltimore Orioles in seven games. With a second World Series crown under his watch, Murtaugh is now tied for ninth on the all-time World Series victories list by managers.
Murtaugh died on December 2, 1976 after leading the Pirates to a 92-70 record earlier in the year. One year later in 1977, he became just the fourth person in Pirates history to have his number retired, joining Billy Meyer and Hall-of-Famers Pie Traynor and Roberto Clemente to have the ultimate team honor.
CAREER WINS: 1,115 (2nd in Pirates history)
YEARS MANAGED: 1957-1967 and 1970-1976
WORLD SERIES TITLES: 1960 and 1971
DIVISION/LEAGUE TITLES: Five
RANKINGS AMONG HOF MANAGERS
- His .540 winning percentage ranks higher than current Hall of Fame managers Ned Hanlon (.530), Bucky Harris (.493), Tommy Lasorda (.526), Connie Mack (.486), Bill McKechnie (.526), Wilbert Robinson (.500), Dick Williams (.520) and Casey Stengel (.508) and ties him with Leo Durocher.
- His 1,115 wins are more than Hall-of-Famers Harry Wright (1,000) and Billy Southworth (1,044).
- His two World Series titles are more than Hall of Fame managers Leo Durocher (1), Ned Hanlon (1), Al Lopez (0), Wilbert Robinson (0), Frank Selee (0), Earl Weaver (1) and Harry Wright (0) and ties him with Bucky Harris, Tommy Lasorda, Bill McKechnie, Dick Williams and Billy Southworth.
- Of the 19 managers in the Hall of Fame, excluding Rubes Foster who was inducted for his work in the Negro Leagues, only seven have more World Series titles than Murtaugh.
- In 12 full seasons as Pirates manager (manager for parts of 15 seasons from 1957-1976), Murtaugh led his team to nine winning records and five league/division titles (1960, 1970, 1971, 1974 and 1975).
- Won two World Series titles in two different decades (1960 and 1971) in both World Series appearances.
- In those World Series wins, he defeated two Hall of Fame managers in Casey Stengel (1960 New York Yankees) and Earl Weaver (1971 Baltimore Orioles).
- His two World Series wins ties him for ninth on the all-time World Series victories list by managers.
- Finished second all-time in Pirates history in wins by a manager with 1,115, only behind Fred Clarke's 1,602 (1900-1915).
- Is one of only 36 managers in MLB history to win 1,000 or more games (1,115 wins).
- His 165 games over .500 currently ranks him 28th amongst managers alltime on the most games over .500 list.
- His number 40 was retired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1977.
- Was the Associated Press Manager of the Year in 1958 (combined National League and American League), and 1960 and 1970 in the National League.
- Two-time recipient of The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award (1960 and 1970).
- Selected as Man of the Year by SPORT magazine in 1960.