On the night of Monday, September 9, Pittsburgh Pirates fans everywhere were finally able to stop holding their breath. Andrew McCutchen‘s stare into the sky after making the final out of the game said it all: We’ve finally done it. For the first time in two decades – count ‘em, 21 years – the Pirates have secured a winning season. Yes, you read that right.
After the 1992 season, Pittsburgh fell into a great depression. The front office had plans to set out and start a team rebuild from head to toe. They sent away all of their high-profile, high-payroll sluggers in favor for some young “Bucs”. In the long run, this would prove to be one of the worst decisions ever made in the history of the franchise… and a very long run it was. The only time that the Pirates came close to a winning season since their decline was in 1997, where they finished second in the National League Central division, obviously despite having a losing record and a measly payroll of just $9 million.