Joe Musgrove pens heartfelt goodbye letter

A love letter to his "Pittsburgh Famalee"

January 21st, 2021

The Pirates continued the rebuilding process when they traded starting pitcher Joe Musgrove to the Padres on Tuesday in exchange for five prospects in a three-team deal. Originally acquired from the Astros in the Gerrit Cole trade before the 2018 season, Musgrove led Pirates pitchers in strikeouts (312) and was second in wins (18) and innings (325 1/3) since joining the team. That, combined with his fiery attitude on the mound and team leadership in the clubhouse, made him a fan favorite.

On Thursday, Musgrove wrote a letter to Pirates fans showing that the love flowed both ways. Opening by calling the fans his "Pittsburgh Famalee" -- a reference to the 1979 "We Are Family" Pirates -- Musgrove noted how proud he was to put on the same jersey that players like Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Bill Mazeroski had worn.

The city of Pittsburgh itself responded, thanking Musgrove for his work in the community:

While former big leaguer Tom Koehler pointed out what we're all thinking: Musgrove has some seriously nice penmanship.

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Though Musgrove may have left Pittsburgh, fellow Pirates starter Jameson Taillon isn't letting his teammate go that easily. Taillon offered to take on the famously competitive Musgrove in another round of darts next time the Padres come to town:

For anyone who wants to read Musgrove's letter without having to zoom in, the full text is below:

"To my Pittsburgh Famalee,

I feel honored to have been part of such a a historic organization, to wear the same uniform as greats like Clemente, Maz, Bass, Sanguillen, Stargell, Parker ... the list goes on.

There's a certain standard that city of Pittsburgh expects out of you, not only as a ballplayer, but as a human being as well. A certain level of grittiness and toughness. If you need someone to hold your hand and tell you everything's gonna be okay, this isn't the city for you. But that's what I love about this city. You get out of it what you put into it, and I put in all that I had. I'm sorry that weren't able to win more while I was there, but this city, and my teammates over the past 3 seasons have provided me with so much knowledge and growth that I will carry with me for the rest of my career.

I want to thank the organization for giving me the opportunity to continue to do what I love and for providing me with everything necessary to do it well. I want to thank my teammates for holding me accountable everyday, and for never backing down from a fight. You guys will always have my love and respect. If that's the last time I put on a Pirates uniform, I hope this letter can help express just how grateful I am for the opportunity.

Thanks for the peace.

Take care yinz.

Love,

Big Joe"