Thursday, January 9, 2014

#3–The World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates (15 Cards)

The Bucs rounded out a decade of excellence with their second World Championship of the decade.  For Orioles fans that’s a bit of a bitter bill to swallow, because both Pirate championship (1971 and 1979) came against Earl Weaver’s teams.  The “We are Family” Bucs had a potent lineup and a rock solid pitching staff.  Willie “Pops” Stargell was the unchallenged team leader.  If you did something outstanding or if he just liked you a lot you got a star for your pillbox style cap.  The Bucs were also champions in the uniform department.  They had no less than 10 different combinations of jerseys and pants to wear.  It’s amazing the clubhouse man kept it all together when the team was on the road.  My personal favorite:  The Yellow on Yellow look.  Only real men like Dave Parker can pull that off !  Sitting in 3rd place, 6 1/2 games back the Bucs needed to pull off a big move to shake things up.  Acquiring Bill Madlock from the Giants on June 28th provided the team with the final piece to the puzzle.  By July 30th the team was tied for the NL East.  By August 5th they would move into first place and never look back.  Re-acquiring Dock Ellis from the Mets on September 21st didn’t help much on the field, but it sure gave the writers something to write about as Ellis always had something interesting going on around him.

The late great Dock Ellis

Here are the 15 cards for the Bucs:


Editor’s Note:  This was an easy team to put together.  Tony sent me a lot of pictures.  I had some left over from the 1978 project we did last year.  I love the Tim Foli action shot.  I put in 2 versions for Dock Ellis.  Some might as, “Why 2 cards for a guy who played in just 3 games”.  Answer:  Because it’s Dock !

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