The Best Pittsburgh Pirates of All Time

Over 2.6K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Pittsburgh Pirates of All Time
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Please only rank the players based on their time with the Pirates.

This is a list of the greatest Pittsburgh Pirates in team history. Despite the franchise's recent run of futility, the Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the classic baseball teams with its roots going back as far as the 19th century. Founded in 1882 and joining the National League in 1887, the Pirates' history has always been topsy-turvy, with the team experiencing many peaks and valleys during its existence. The team has been to the World Series nine times, winning five.

One of the best players in baseball history and to don the famous black and yellow is Roberto Clemente. During his 18 seasons in the big leagues, Clemente made history as the first Hispanic player to win a World Series as a starter (1960), to receive an MVP Award (1966), and to receive a World Series MVP Award (1971). The slickfielding right fielder had an even 3,000 hits for his career and was a four-time batting champion. His death in 1972 shocked many when his plane crashed while he was his way to Nicaragua to deliver goods to earthquake victims in the Central American country. The Roberto Clemente Award is given to every year to a player with outstanding baseball playing skills who is personally involved in community work. Clemente is known as one of the greatest Pirates ever.

More recently, the "We Are Family" teams of the late '70s took home a World Series title in 1979 and had some of the best players in franchise history in Willie Stargell and Dave Parker. The early '90s should have been a period of prosperity for Pittsburgh when Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla and Doug Drabek were dominating baseball. But two heartbreaking playoff defeats and economics caused the end of that potential dynasty.

This is a list of the Best Pittsburgh Pirates of All Time. If you see someone who should be on this list, feel free to add him. Vote and rerank this list as you deem fit.
Ranked by
  • Roberto Clemente
    1,530 votes
    Right fielder

    A true icon in the history of baseball, the late Roberto Clemente's unforgettable legacy reverberates through the sport to this day. Famed for his remarkable throwing arm, exceptional hitting, and incredible fielding prowess, this Puerto Rican legend remains an inspiration to his compatriots and aspiring athletes worldwide. As the first Hispanic player to achieve 3,000 hits, Clemente's impact on the game transcended mere statistics and his humanitarian endeavors made him a role model both on and off the field.

  • Honus Wagner
    1,201 votes

    The "Flying Dutchman," Honus Wagner, indisputably stands as one of the most gifted shortstops in MLB history, and his prowess on the base paths remains the stuff of legend. With an uncanny ability to hit for both power and average, his contribution to the Pirates' early success was invaluable. His influence on the game continues today as his rare T206 baseball card is one of the most sought-after and valuable collectibles in the industry.

  • Willie Stargell
    986 votes
    Outfielder, Left fielder, First baseman

    The larger-than-life figure of "Pops" Stargell cemented his place in baseball history with prodigious power at the plate and unflinching leadership skills that galvanized the Pittsburgh faithful. A born slugger, Stargell's penchant for sending balls sailing over the outfield fence with alarming regularity endeared him to fans and struck fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers. His indelible link to the 1979 World Series-winning "We Are Family" Pirates team serves as a fitting tribute to an extraordinary career.

  • Ralph Kiner
    699 votes
    Outfielder, Left fielder

    Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner captivated audiences with his exceptional slugging abilities during the late 1940s and early 1950s. A home run-hitting machine, Kiner became the first player in MLB history to lead the league in homers for seven consecutive years, making him a fan favorite in the Steel City. The charismatic Kiner also enjoyed a successful post-playing career as an esteemed broadcaster, earning him a beloved place in the hearts of baseball fans.

  • Dave Parker
    752 votes
    Designated hitter, Right fielder, Outfielder

    Dave Parker's dazzling combination of athleticism, power, and defensive prowess saw the aptly-nicknamed "Cobra" become a mainstay among the Pirates' elite during the 1970s. A five-tool talent, Parker's versatility on the field and his leadership in the clubhouse played a pivotal role in the team's successes, culminating in their 1979 World Series triumph. His flair for the game ensured his lasting impact on the sport and stamped his name in the annals of baseball.

  • Bill Mazeroski
    774 votes
    Second baseman

    No Pittsburgh Pirate has his place in history more definitively secured than Bill Mazeroski, whose walk-off home run in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series remains etched in the memory of baseball fans. Renowned for his outstanding defensive skills at second base, "Maz" became the gold standard by which all players at the position are measured. His enduring status in the city owes everything to that fateful swing, forever linking him to one of the most iconic moments in the annals of the sport.