Manager: Danny Murtaugh
For more on the 1960 Pirates, visit Baseball-Almanac.com
When they got to the World Series, the Pirates were supposed to be swept by the mighty New York Yankees, but the Pirates, with losses of 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0, and being outscored 55-27, found a way to defeat the New York Yankees in seven games. The clincher was a solo home run by Bill Mazeroski in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 off Ralph Terry that gave the Pirates their first World Series crown since 1925.
Led by manager Danny Murtaugh, the 1960 Pirates finished with a 95-59 record, tops in the National League. His lineup featured the NL's batting champion and MVP in shortstop Dick Groat (.325 average), the NL's Cy Young Award winner in Vernon Law (20-9, 3.08 ERA) and two young and upcoming stars in right fielder Roberto Clemente (.314 average, 16 HR'S, 94 RBI'S) and second baseman Bill Masers (.273 average, 11 HR'S, 64 RBI'S).
The 1960 Pirates lineup also consisted of four other pitchers with 10 or more wins. Harvey Haddix (11-10, 3.98 ERA), early-season acquisition "Vinegar Bend" Mizell (13-5, 3.12 ERA), Bob Friend (18-12, 3.00 ERA), and bullpen ace ElRoy Face (10-8, 2.90 ERA, 24 saves) were the 10- game brigadiers for the Pirates.
The 1960 'Bucs were a culmination of trades and drafts made by General Manager Joe L. Brown. Brown picked up Haddix, catcher Smoky Burgess (.294 average, 7 HR'S, 37 RBI'S), and third baseman Don Hoak (.282 average, 16 HR'S, 79 RBI'S) from the Cincinnati Reds for three players before the 1959 season. Brown also picked up Rocky Nelson (.300 average, 7 HR'S, 35 RBI'S), who had toiled for years in the minor league system in the 1959 player draft.
Before the 1960 season, Brown picked up catcher Hal Smith (.295 average, 45 RBI'S, 11 HR'S) from the Kansas City Athletics. Smith would smack a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 7 of the World Series to give the Pirates a 9-7 edge. Brown, during the season, obtained Mizell from the Cardinals, and for the stretch run, picked up former Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodger reliever Clem Labine.
Other players that made a big contribution to the 1960 Pirates were centerfielder Bill Virdon (.264 average, 8 HR'S, 40 RBI'S), first baseman Dick Stuart (.260 average, 23 HR'S, 83 RBI'S), leftfielder Bob Skinner (.273 average, 15 HR'S, 86 RBI'S), and reserve infielder Dick Schofield, who, in the place of a injured Dick Groat in September, batted .403, keeping the Pirates in first place to stay.
The 1960 Pirates will never be ranked as the greatest World Series champions ever, however, they will be ranked for their performances as a team and their ability to overcome all the obstacles that were in their way.
Greg Leadbetter is a former graduate of West Holmes High School and the University of Akron Wayne College in Ohio who contributes to historicbaseball.com. He can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.