1979 World Series recap

Pirates defeat Orioles, 4 games to 3

September 28th, 2022

The Orioles won 102 games in the regular season, but the Pirates would be best remembered, both for winning the World Series and their adoption of Sister Sledge's "We Are Family" as their theme song.

Baltimore got off to a rousing start, knocking out Bucs starter Bruce Kison on their way to five runs in the first inning of Game 1. From that point the Pittsburgh bullpen was brilliant, but the Pirates could score only four runs off O's starter Mike Flanagan, who went the distance for a 5-4 victory. Game 2 was tied 2-2 until the ninth, when Manny Sanguillen's RBI single gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead. Submarining reliever Kent Tekulve was perfect in the bottom of the inning, and the Series was even.

The Fall Classic shifted to Pittsburgh for Game 3, but the Orioles didn't seem to mind, scoring five runs in the fifth on their way to an easy 8-4 decision. Shortstop Kiko Garcia led the way with four hits and four runs batted in. In Game 4, the Orioles trailed 6-3 until the eighth, when they exploded for six runs. Final: 9-6, Baltimore.

At that point, with the O's leading the Series three games to one, it almost seemed like a fait accompli ... and then the Baltimore bats went quiet. In Game 5, the Pirates topped the Orioles 7-1, Jim Rooker and Bert Blyleven teaming up for a six-hitter. In Game 6, John Candeleria and Tekulve shut out the O's, 4-0, to force a Game 7.

And in Game 7, the Orioles could manage but one run against a quartet of Pirate pitchers, while Pirate hitters came up with two runs in the sixth on Willie Stargell's two-run homer, and two more in the ninth for insurance. Tekulve pitched a perfect ninth to earn his third save of the Series, thus clinching the championship.

Path to the World Series
ALCS: Baltimore over California (3 games to 1)
NLCS: Pittsburgh over Cincinnati (3 games to 0)

Managers: Chuck Tanner, PIT; Earl Weaver, BAL

MVP: Willie Stargell, PIT: .400, 4 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI