The Pirates have been “Raising the Jolly Roger” for the fans in Pittsburgh since the summer of 1887. All 128 seasons have been played in the National League.
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Clint Hurdle has been at the helm since 2011 and is the 39th manager in team history. Coming into Mother’s Day weekend, the native of Big Rapids, Michigan has a .511 winning percentage with a record of 346-331. He has helped the team acquire two National League Wild Card berths in 2013 and 2014.
Last season, he added his 800th career managerial win in May, and was named a coach on Mike Matheny’s staff for the All-Star Game in Minnesota. Hurdle was named the 2013 NL Manager of the Year by both the Baseball Writers Association of America and the Sporting News.
The question I am asking all Pittsburgh baseball fans is this: “Who is your favorite Pirates manager of all-time?” Here is a quick rundown of our remaining candidates for our poll below.
Hall of Famer Fred Clarke took the wheel of the Jolly Roger from 1900-1915 and in 16 seasons put together a record of 1422-969 and a .595 winning percentage. The Winterset, Iowa native claimed the NL pennant and the World Series title in 1909. The man, who went by the nickname of “Cap,” added three more NL pennants in 1901, 1902, and 1903. Clarke was elected into the Cooperstown as a player in 1945 by the Old Timers Committee.
Another Hall of Famer, Bill McKechnie filled out Pirates lineup cards from 1922-1926 and in just five seasons assembled a record of 409-293 and a .583 winning percentage. The man known as “Deacon” took the Bucs to one NL pennant and World Series championship in 1925. The Wilkinsburg, Penna. native was inducted into Cooperstown as a manager by the Veteran’s Committee in 1962.
My favorite as a young person was Danny Murtaugh. The Chester, Penna. native achieved a career record of 1,115-950 and .540 winning percentage. He collected two National League pennants and two World Series championships in 1960 and 1971. He added four NL Eastern Division titles in 1970, 1971, 1974, and 1975. Over the course of 12 full seasons and parts of three additional seasons, the “Whistling Irishman” had nine winning records. The Pirates had at least 90 victories on five different occasions under his guidance.
The next manager in our poll hails from New Castle, Pennsylvania. Chuck Tanner was in charge of the Pirates dugout for nine seasons (1977-1985), and accumulated a .509 winning percentage with a record of 711-685. He brought the Burgh a NL Eastern Division title, a NL pennant, and a World Series championship with the “We Are Family” gang in 1979.
My final candidate for you to consider is from Toledo, Ohio and could be the one who got you interested in the Pirates back in the day. Jim Leyland was the skipper in Pittsburgh for 11 seasons from 1986 to 1996. He put up a record of 851-863 with a .496 winning percentage. Leyland took the Bucs to three NL Eastern Division titles and was named the NL Manager of the Year in 1990 and 1992.
It is time to vote and let your voice be heard. Did I get the right managers on the list? You can let me and your fellow fans know your thoughts in the comments section below. Let’s Go Bucs!