Three Rivers Stadium and "The Family"Slugger Willie Stargell joined the Pittsburgh Pirates in the late 1960s, and soon after the much anticipated Three Rivers Stadium, named after the three rivers (Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers) that converge at downtown Pittsburgh, opened on July 16, 1970. It was just a little too big and too sterile to be a good ballpark, however, and never quite lived up to expectations. Three Rivers Stadium is an important part of Pittsburgh history and has celebrated many Major League 'firsts' including the first ever night World Series game during the 1971 series (which the Pirate's won) and Roberto Clemente's 3000th major league hit. The stadium has also hosted two All-Star Games (1974, 1994) and witnessed the largest crowd (59,568) to ever watch a professional baseball game in Pittsburgh during the 65th Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 12, 1994.
The 1970s brought both triumph and tragedy to the Pittsburgh Pirates. On December 31, 1972, Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash while accompanying a shipment of relief supplies to the victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. The team finally managed to pull itself back together, however, even adopting "We Are Family" as their theme song and went on to win their fifth World Series, in seven games, on October 17, 1979.
Move to PNC ParkThe newest chapter of Pirate history began on February 14, 1996, when Kevin McClatchy and his group of investors purchased the Pirates franchise from Pittsburgh Associates with the condition of building a baseball-only ballpark within five years. Ceremonial groundbreaking for PNC Park took place on April 7, 1999 and opening day took place just two years later on April 9, 2001 with a sellout crowd of 36,954.
With more than 115 National League seasons under their belt, the Pittsburgh Pirates are proud of their history filled with five World Championship wins; legendary players including Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Bill Mazeroski; and some of baseball's most dramatic games and moments.