PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have retired the numbers of seven of their players, all Hall of Famers. The standard is high to be immortalized by the Pirates, but the long history of black-and-gold baseball features some of the game's all-time greats. Stroll around the perimeter of beautiful PNC Park, and
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have retired the numbers of seven of their players, all Hall of Famers. The standard is high to be immortalized by the Pirates, but the long history of black-and-gold baseball features some of the game's all-time greats. Stroll around the perimeter of beautiful PNC Park, and you will find some of them -- Honus Wagner, Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski -- looming larger than life. That is an accurate representation of those players, icons in baseball and Pittsburgh alike.
Billy Meyer, manager: No. 1
Number retired: 1954
Meyer played parts of three seasons in the Majors for the White Sox and Athletics from 1913-17, won eight pennants as a Minor League manager from 1926-47 and became the Pirates' manager in 1948. In his first season, the well-liked Meyer was named Sporting News Manager of the Year as Pittsburgh finished 83-71. Overall, the Pirates went 317-452 during Meyer's five seasons at the helm.
Ralph Kiner, OF: No. 4
Number retired: 1987
Kiner, inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975, won or shared the National League home run title in each of his seven full seasons with the Pirates and went deep 301 times overall for Pittsburgh. In 1949, Kiner hit a single-season club record 54 home runs while recording his second 127-RBI season in three years. Kiner put together five straight 40-homer, 100-RBI seasons from 1947-51.
Willie Stargell, OF/1B: No. 8
Number retired: 1982
The legendary, beloved "Pops" spent his entire 21-year career in Pittsburgh and still stands as the club's all-time leader in home runs, RBIs and extra-base hits. The two-time World Series champion (1971 and '79) and '79 National League co-MVP batted .282 with 475 home runs and 1,540 RBIs in 2,360 Major League games. A seven-time NL All-Star who won NLCS and World Series MVP honors in 1979, Stargell was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988, his first year of eligibility. Stargell was also the first Pirate to win MLB's Roberto Clemente Award, taking home the honor named for his former teammate in 1974.
Bill Mazeroski, 2B: No. 9
Number retired: 1987
Mazeroski hit one of the most famous home runs in Major League history, the walk-off winner against the Yankees in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series -- the first and only World Series Game 7 walk-off homer. But Mazeroski reached the Hall of Fame in 2001 due to his reputation as perhaps the best defensive second basemen ever. "Maz" won eight Gold Glove Awards, made seven All-Star teams and secured two World Series rings with the Pirates. Mazeroski retired after 17 seasons with the Pirates as the owner of 2,016 hits, a .260 lifetime average and 138 home runs.
Paul Waner, OF: No. 11
Number retired: 2007
The Pirates retired Waner's No. 11 in 2007, 42 years after his death and 62 years after the final game of his 20-year career as an extra-base machine. "Big Poison" batted a franchise-record .340 during his 15 seasons with the Pirates while recording 2,868 of his 3,152 career hits and 558 of his 605 career doubles. Waner was the first player in Pirates history to win the National League MVP Award in 1927, when he recorded 237 hits and 131 RBIs for the NL pennant-winning Bucs. One of the most accomplished hitters of the 1930s, Waner retired in 1945 with the sixth-highest hit total in MLB history. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1952.
Pie Traynor, 3B: No. 20
Number retired: 1972
Traynor spent 17 seasons with the Pirates, earning a reputation as the best third baseman of his era while posting a career .320 average. Traynor slugged only 58 home runs but recorded 2,416 hits and 1,273 RBIs and recorded more walks than strikeouts in his career. A World Series champion in 1925, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1948 -- the first third baseman ever voted in by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Traynor also managed the Pirates from 1934-39.
Roberto Clemente, OF: No. 21
Number retired: 1973
An icon on and off the field, Clemente's success in a Pirates uniform was surpassed only by his humanitarian work. Clemente won four batting titles, batted .317 in his career and recorded exactly 3,000 career hits while slugging 240 home runs. He was a 12-time All-Star, the 1966 NL MVP, a two-time World Series champion and the '71 World Series MVP. Known for his powerful arm in right field, Clemente won 12 straight Gold Glove Awards from 1961-72. Clemente tragically passed away in a plane crash while attempting to deliver relief supplies from his native Puerto Rico to Nicaragua on Dec. 31, 1972. The Hall of Fame waived its five-year waiting period and inducted Clemente in 1973.
Honus Wagner, SS: No. 33
Number retired: 1952
Widely regarded as the game's greatest shortstop and the Pirates' best player, Wagner was one of five players inducted into the Hall of Fame's first class in 1936. "The Flying Dutchman" played for Pittsburgh from 1900-17, won eight batting titles and recorded 2,967 of his 3,420 career hits for the Pirates. Wagner, born in Carnegie, also finished his 21-year career with 1,732 RBIs and 723 stolen bases; he led the NL in steals five times and won four NL RBI titles. A statue of Wagner has followed the Pirates from Schenley Park, near Forbes Field, to Three Rivers Stadium and, now, the home-plate entrance of PNC Park.
Danny Murtaugh, manager: No. 40
Number retired: 1977
In his 15 years as manager, Murtaugh guided the Pirates to two World Series victories (1960 and '71) while posting an overall record of 1,115-950. He ranks second on the Pirates' all-time win list behind only Fred Clarke. Murtaugh, named the Sporting News Manager of the Year in 1960 and '70, served four stints as Pittsburgh's manager after finishing his playing career with the Pirates. Murtaugh also wrote out a historic lineup on Sept. 1, 1971, when the Pirates fielded MLB's first all-minority lineup.
Note: On April 15, 1997, the Pirates joined every team in MLB in retiring No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.