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Pittsburgh Pirates All-Time Roster

Updated 03/28/2020

This is the Pittsburgh Pirates all-time roster. The roster consists of one starter and one bench player for each infield position and one starter and one bench player for each outfield position. Hitters had to have a minimum of 1,500 plate appearances. For pitching, I selected five starting pitchers and three relief pitchers. Starting pitchers had to start at least 75 games during their time with the franchise to qualify. Relief pitchers had to accumulate a minimum of 150 innings pitched to be eligible.


  • Catcher – Jason Kendall
    • Age: 22 – 30
    • Years: 1996 – 2004

    Jason Kendall
    WAR wRC+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    30.7 113 1252 5282 4606 706 1409 256 29 67 471 140 65 454 403 .306 .389 .418 .807

  • First Base – Elbie Fletcher
    • Age: 23 – 27, 30 – 31
    • Years: 1939 – 1943, 1946 – 1947

    Elbie Fletcher
    WAR wRC+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    25 132 916 3820 3140 509 875 154 43 60 464 20 0 625 306 .279 .399 .412 .811

  • Second Base – Claude Ritchey
    • Age: 26 – 32
    • Years: 1900 – 1906

    Claude Ritchey
    WAR wRC+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    22.4 110 854 3475 3012 365 826 133 38 4 353 70 0 333 0 .274 .342 .348 .690

  • Third Base – Tommy Leach
    • Age: 22 – 34, 40
    • Years: 1900 – 1912, 1918

    Tommy Leach
    WAR wRC+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    36.6 111 1523 6460 5750 989 1569 191 137 42 610 263 0 495 126 .273 .323 .376 .699

  • Shortstop – Honus Wagner
    • Age: 26 – 43
    • Years: 1900 – 1917

    Honus Wagner
    WAR wRC+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    114 150 2298 9640 8507 1414 2766 506 210 78 1375 601 15 836 327 .325 .384 .462 .846

  • Right Field – Roberto Clemente
    • Age: 20 – 37
    • Years: 1955 – 1972

    Roberto Clemente
    WAR wRC+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    94.6 129 2433 10212 9454 1416 3000 440 166 240 1305 83 46 621 1230 .317 .360 .475 .835

  • Center Field – Andrew McCutchen
    • Age: 22 – 30
    • Years: 2009 – 2017

    Andrew McCutchen
    WAR wRC+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    39.9 137 1346 5829 5033 814 1463 292 44 203 725 171 67 685 1038 .291 .382 .487 .869

  • Left Field – Barry Bonds
    • Age: 21 – 27
    • Years: 1986 – 1992

    Barry Bonds
    WAR wRC+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    50.1 145 1010 4255 3584 672 984 220 36 176 556 251 72 611 590 .275 .383 .503 .886

  • Starting Pitcher – Babe Adams
    • Age: 27 – 34, 36 – 44
    • Years: 1909 – 1916, 1918 – 1926
    Babe Adams
    WAR ERA- G GS W L ERA IP CG SHO SV R ER BB SO K% WHIP
    50 85 481 354 194 139 2.74 2991.1 206 44 15 1121 911 428 1036 7.% 1.09

  • Starting Pitcher – Wilbur Cooper
    • Age: 20 – 32
    • Years: 1912 – 1924
    Wilbur Cooper
    WAR ERA- G GS W L ERA IP CG SHO SV R ER BB SO K% WHIP
    48.1 84 469 371 202 159 2.74 3199 263 33 14 1241 974 762 1191 8.9% 1.20

  • Starting Pitcher – Bob Friend
    • Age: 20 – 34
    • Years: 1951 – 1965
    Bob Friend
    WAR ERA- G GS W L ERA IP CG SHO SV R ER BB SO K% WHIP
    47.7 92 568 477 191 218 3.55 3480.1 161 35 10 1575 1372 869 1682 11.5% 1.29

  • Starting Pitcher – John Candelaria
    • Age: 21 – 31
    • Years: 1975 – 1985
    John Candelaria
    WAR ERA- G GS W L ERA IP CG SHO SV R ER BB SO K% WHIP
    32.3 86 345 271 124 87 3.17 1873 45 9 16 731 660 436 1159 15.2% 1.17

  • Starting Pitcher – Sam Leever
    • Age: 26 – 38
    • Years: 1898 – 1910
    Sam Leever
    WAR ERA- G GS W L ERA IP CG SHO SV R ER BB SO K% WHIP
    29.3 82 302 228 157 64 2.31 2016 179 32 10 722 518 412 627 1.11

  • Relief Pitcher – Kent Tekulve
    • Age: 27 – 38
    • Years: 1974 – 1985
    Kent Tekulve
    WAR ERA- G GS W L ERA IP CG SHO SV R ER BB SO K% WHIP
    21.5 72 722 0 70 61 2.68 1017.1 0 0 158 356 303 367 552 13.% 1.25

  • Relief Pitcher – Roy Face
    • Age: 25, 27 – 40
    • Years: 1953, 1955 – 1968
    Roy Face
    WAR ERA- G GS W L ERA IP CG SHO SV R ER BB SO K% WHIP
    20.6 91 802 27 100 93 3.46 1314.2 6 0 188 562 505 346 842 15.5% 1.24

  • Relief Pitcher – Al McBean
    • Age: 23 – 30, 32
    • Years: 1961 – 1968, 1970
    Al McBean
    WAR ERA- G GS W L ERA IP CG SHO SV R ER BB SO K% WHIP
    13.6 89 376 75 65 43 3.08 1016 22 5 59 404 348 342 548 12.8% 1.32

Bench

  • Catcher – Manny Sanguillen, 1967, 1969 – 1976, 1978 – 1980
  • First Base – George Grantham, 1925 – 1931
  • Second Base – Bill Mazeroski, 1956 – 1972
  • Third Base – Bobby Bonilla, 1986 – 1991
  • Shortstop – Arky Vaughan, 1932 – 1941
  • Right Field – Paul Waner, 1926 – 1940
  • Center Field – Andy Van Slyke, 1987 – 1994
  • Left Field – Ralph Kiner, 1946 – 1953
  • Starting Pitcher – Bob Veale, 1962 – 1972
  • Starting Pitcher – Ray Kremer, 1924 – 1933
  • Starting Pitcher – Vic Willis, 1906 – 1909
  • Relief Pitcher – Mark Melancon, 2013 – 2016

14 Comments »

  1. I am a long-time Pirate fan. I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this page, but if this guy seriously thinks Elbie Fletcher, George Grantham, etc, are all-time Pirate greats, then he is nuts. Look at the guys he has on the “Bench”, or not even on the team, like Mazeroski. Compare them to the players he thinks belong in the starting lineup. Was this an April Fools Day joke or something?

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  2. In 1891, 2B Lou Bierbauer joined the NL Pittsburgh Alleghenys instead of returning to the AA Philadelphia A’s (Omitted from their reserve list). The AA League filed an official complaint against the Alleghenys for being “piratical”. Just to rub it in, the Alleghenys began calling themselves “Pirates”.

    In 1899, The Louisville Colonels were one of four teams that the NL would eliminate for 1900. The others were Cleveland Spiders, Washington Washington Senators and Baltimore Orioles. The Colonels’ owner, Barney Dreyfuss, bought into the Pittsburgh Pirates then “traded’ his young stars to the Pirates. Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke, Claude Ritchey, Tommy Leach, Deacon Phillippe, Rube Waddell and others for Jack Chesbro and others.

    1924: All Time Greatest Defensive Range for Middle INF: SS Glenn Wright – 2B Rabbit Maranville

    As always, greatest teams are only one’s opinion. 1B is weak for such an old team:

    C Manny Sanguillen, Jason Kendall, Tony Pena

    1B Jake Beckley, Willie Stargell
    2B Bill Mazeroski
    3B Pie Traynor, Tommy Leach, Bill Madlock
    SS Honus Wagner, Arky Vaughan, Dick Groat, Jay Bell

    LF Ralph Kiner, Fred Clarke, Kike Cuyler
    CF Max Carey, Lloyd Waner, Ginger Beaumont, Andrew McCutchen
    RF Paul Waner, Roberto Clemente, Dave Parker, Patsy Donovan

    SUB Lee Lacy, Al Oliver

    SPR Babe Adams, Pud Galvin, Deacon Phillippe, Sam Leever, Ray Kramer, Rip Sewell, Bob Friend, Bob Veale,Vic Willis
    SPL Wilbur Cooper, Lefty Leifield, Jesse Tannehill, John Candelaria,

    RPR Kent Tekulve, Roy Face, Dave Guisti, Mark Melancon
    RPL Tony Watson, Mike Gonzalez

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  3. Are you kidding m.e..I’m. No Mazeroski..greatest defensive 2B ever.. no Stargell..no Pie Traynor at third.. and Jason Kendall..how about Manny Sanguillen.. very underrated..good player that got overshadowed by Johnny bench

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  4. I think Kent Tekulve because of his longevity would be a better choice over Melancon.melancon was better in the short term however.

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  5. Actually tony Pena would be a better choice over Sanguillen.close though Sanguillen the better hitter, but Pena’s great defense gives him a slight edge.

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    • I also think Elroy face should be one of the relievers , along with Tekulve, and John candleariashould be one of starting pitchers.

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  6. Here yins go…

    Pittsburgh Pirate Position Players Top Fives in “pWAR” (that is, WAR while a Pirate)

    Catcher
    Jason Kendall 30.6
    Manny Sanguillen 26.8
    Tony Pena 22.3
    George Gibson 15.1
    Smoky Burgess 14.6

    1b
    (Willie Stargell 57.5 LF/1B. See note*)
    Elbie Fletcher 25
    Gus Suhr 23.1
    George Grantham 22.1 (BRef counts him as 2b for his career, but with Pirates he played 475 games at 1b and only 393 at 2b)
    Donn Clendenon 17.6

    2b
    Bill Mazeroski 36.5
    Claude Ritchey 25.2
    Johnny Ray 19.4
    Neil walker 16.5
    Rennie Stennett 14.6

    3b
    Tommy Leach 36.4
    Pie Traynor 36.2
    Richie Hebner 23
    Bob Elliott 22.7
    Bobby Bonilla 20.3

    SS
    John Peter Wagner 120.2
    Arky Vaughn 64
    Gene Alley 24.2
    Jay Bell 23.9
    Dick Groat 22.3
    (Jack Wilson 21.3. Only player with 20+ pWAR who didn’t make the Top 5s)

    OF [15, mixed positions]
    Roberto Clemente 94.5
    Paul Waner 68.2
    Max Carey 52.3
    Barry Bonds 50.3
    Fred Clarke 46.8
    Ralph Kiner 44.7
    Andrew McCuthen 39.4
    Dave Parker 34.8
    Andy Van Slyke 31.0
    Starling Marte 29.1 (*active)
    Al Oliver 27.3
    Brian Giles 26.7
    Lloyd Waner 24.1
    Ginger Beaumont 22.3
    KiKi Cuyler 17.5 *

    Adjustments:
    – Only counting players since 1900.
    – *Willie Stargell counted as 1st baseman – he did play about 40% of his games (including his MVP season there, and otherwise the pWar 1b roster is weakish.
    And this way All positions have a ‘leader’ of at least 30 pWAR.
    – Kiki Cuyler has been leapfrogged over Billy Virdon. Virdon 18.3 pWAR in 5856pa; Cuyler 17.5 pWAR in 2289pa)

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    • No, of course I don’t have all these cards. Who can afford a Wagner card?

      I’m puzzled by the neglect (hate) of Bill Mazeroski. Some people are offended that he’s in the Hall, claiming that it’s only because of his 1960 home run. But of course he’s there as one of the greatest fielders of all-time. And he far outclasses George Grantham (?!?) who wasn’t even primarily a second baseman for the Bucs.

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  7. Whoever chose this team really doesn’t seem to be able to judge baseball talent, as your posters have pointed out. After 120+ years, one would think that the Pirates would have produced more top flight players than the all stars picked.

    Like

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