Sports in Pittsburgh
Sports in Pittsburgh have been played dating back to the American Civil War. Baseball, hockey, and the first professional American football game had been played in the city by 1895. Pittsburgh was first known as the "City of Champions" when the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Panthers, and Pittsburgh Steelers won multiple championships in the 1970s. Today, the city has three major professional sports franchises, the Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins; while the University of Pittsburgh Panthers compete in a Division I BCS conference, the highest level of collegiate athletics in the United States, in both football and basketball. Local universities Duquesne and Robert Morris also field Division I teams in men's and women's basketball and Division I FCS teams in football. Robert Morris also fields Division I men's and women's ice hockey teams.
Pittsburgh is once again being called the "City of Champions" as its Steelers and Penguins are recent champions of the NFL and NHL, respectively, in 2009. These accomplishments and others helped Pittsburgh earn the title of "Best Sports City" in 2009 from the Sporting News. Including the 2008-09 seasons, the Steelers have reached the NFL playoffs in six of the last eight seasons—winning two Super Bowl titles—and the Penguins have reached the NHL playoffs the last four years with back-to-back finals appearances, an Atlantic Division Crown, and a Stanley Cup championship.
The flag of Pittsburgh is colored with black and gold, based on the colors of William Pitt's coat of arms; Pittsburgh is the only city in the United States in which all professional sporting teams share the same colors. The city's first National Hockey League (NHL) franchise, the Pittsburgh Pirates were the first to wear black and gold as their colors. The colors were adopted by founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Art Rooney, in 1933. In 1948, the Pittsburgh baseball Pirates switched their colors from red and blue to black and gold. Pittsburgh's second NHL franchise, the Pittsburgh Penguins, wore blue and white, due to general manager Jack Riley's upbringing in Ontario. In 1979, after the Steelers and Pirates had each won their respective league championships, the Penguins altered their color scheme to match, despite objections from the Boston Bruins.
In 1975, late Steelers radio broadcaster Myron Cope invented the Terrible Towel, which has become "arguably the best-known fan symbol of any major pro sports team." Cope was one of multiple sports figures born in Pittsburgh and its surrounding area; others include golfer Arnold Palmer, Olympian Kurt Angle, and basketball player Jack Twyman. Pittsburgh is also sometimes called the "Cradle of Quarterbacks" due to the number of prominent players of that position who hail from the area, including NFL greats Jim Kelly, George Blanda, Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Dan Marino, and Joe Montana.
- 1 Professional sports
- 2 College sports
- 3 Annual events
- 4 Other events
- 5 People
- 6 Performance of the 4 major sports
- 7 All time pro franchises
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
The City of Pittsburgh has had various professional sports franchises throughout its history and today is home to three teams competing at the highest professional level in their respective sports: the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL, the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL, and the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball.
Prior to 1876, three amateur Pittsburgh baseball teams—the Enterprise, the Xanthas, and the Olympics—competed, most often at Recreation Park. On April 15, 1876, Recreation Park was the site of a game between the Xanthas and the Pittsburgh Alleghenies (alternately spelled "Alleghenys"), which would later be renamed the Pirates. The Alleghenies won the game 7–3. The 1877 squad was the most successful yet, finishing within 1 game of the pennant in the International Association; only a Canadian team had a better record, allowing the city potential bragging rights for being the best American team that season. 1882 marked the first "major league" and fully professional season for the Pittsburgh Alleghenies (Pirates) and in 1887, the Alleghenies moved from American Association to the National League after owner William Nimick became frustrated over a contract dispute. The Pirates were purchased in 1900 by Barney Dreyfuss, who would go down in history as the "Father of the modern World Series" and its precursor, the Chronicle-Telegraph Cup, both of which saw the Pirates participate in the inaugural series. He recruited Hall of Famers Fred Clarke and Pittsburgh native Honus Wagner and built the first concrete and steel (first "modern") baseball stadium, Forbes Field. Under Dreyfuss, the Pirates won pre-World Series world titles in 1901 and 1902, National League pennants from 1901–1903, 1909, 1925 and 1927 and World Series in 1909 and 1925. The 1902 squad set major league records for winning percentage and even today is the second most winning team ever fielded in the sport. The franchise won the World Series three more times—in 1960, 1971, and 1979. In 1960, the team became the first to win a World Series on a home run, and remain the only team to win on a homer in the decisive seventh game. In 1979, the Pirates tied their own 1925 World Series team, coming back from a 1 game to 3 deficit, winning three in a row for the title, thus becoming (and remain) the only franchise in the history of all sports to win world titles more than once coming back from a 1–3 deficit. The 1979 Pirates also are unique in that they are the only team in all sports to have their players capture all four MVP awards (Seasonal, All Star Game, Playoff and World Series) in a single season. Since 1970 the team has won their division and qualified for the playoffs nine times, six in the 1970s and three times in a row from 1990 to 1992. Pirates have won the league MVP award in 1960, 1966, 1979, 1990 and 1992 and the Cy Young Award in 1960 and 1990. In 2001, the team opened PNC Park on the city's North Shore, regularly ranked as one of the top three baseball parks in the country.
In addition to the Pirates, the Pittsburgh Stogies, Pittsburgh Burghers and Pittsburgh Rebels played in various leagues from 1884 to 1915. The Rebels won the pennant in 1912 and finished just a half game shy of a pennant in 1915. The Pittsburgh Keystones, Homestead Grays (playing in the city limits), and Pittsburgh Crawfords played in the Negro Leagues. With players including Josh Gibson and Cumberland Posey the Grays won 12 league titles—the most by any Negro League team—including nine consecutive from 1937 to 1945. The Crawfords finished their eight-year existence with a .633 winning percentage, with a line-up including Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and Satchel Paige and claimed four straight league titles from 1933 until 1936, with the 1935 team judged by some[who?] as the greatest one to ever take the field in the Negro Leagues, or perhaps in baseball period. Just as they initially played in the first "modern" ballpark in the majors (Forbes Field), Crawfords owner Gus Greenlee constructed the first steel and concrete "modern" stadium in the Negro Leagues, with Greenlee Field opening in the Hill District on April 29, 1932.
The city has enjoyed championship basketball since the sport began. Pittsburgh South Side won titles in 1904, 1907 and 1913, coming in second place in 1908, 1911 and 1915. The "Black Fives" league enjoyed success in the city with Monticello-Loendi winning national championships in 1912, and four in a row from 1920-23. The Pittsburgh Pirates from 1937–39 and Pittsburgh Raiders in 1944-45 continued professional basketball in the city in the National Basketball League. Pittsburgh had one of the founding members of what became the NBA, the Pittsburgh Ironmen however only played a single season 1947-48 before folding. The Pittsburgh Renaissance (or Rens) played from 1961 until 1963 in the ABL, posting the city's best record in almost 40 years when they finished 2nd in 1962.
The most lasting legacy of pro roundball in Pittsburgh was the Pittsburgh Pipers-Pittsburgh Condors of the American Basketball Association from 1967 until 1972. In the first ABA World Championship in 1968, the Pipers defeated the New Orleans Buccaneers, which were owned by Harry Connick, Sr.. This was significant in that never before had a professional world basketball championship been awarded to a team allowed the three point shot and the dunk as the ABA instituted in 1967-68.
After the ABA Pipers/Condors folded in 1972 the city hosted the Pittsburgh Piranhas of the CBA in the mid-1990s. The franchise made it to the championship round in the 1994-95 season only to come away second best. In the late 2000s the Pittsburgh Xplosion, a development league team owned by former NBA player Freddie Lewis, played in a revamped ABA/CBA at Mellon Arena and the Petersen Events Center before ceasing operations prior to the 2008-09 season because of the economic recession. Another professional basketball team, the Pittsburgh Phantoms of the American Basketball Association, played during the 2009-10 season and held their games at the Carnegie Library of Homestead, but folded prior to the following season.
First played in Pittsburgh in 1895, ice hockey grew in popularity after the Duquesne Gardens opened in 1899. In 1901 the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League (WPHL), a semi-professional ice hockey league based in Pittsburgh in the early 1900s, may have been involved in the first trade involving professional hockey players. In 1907, the WPHL was the first league to openly hire hockey players. The league played its games in three Pittsburgh hockey arenas, the Gardens, the Schenley Park Casino and the Winter Garden at Exposition Hall. The Casino, which was destroyed by a fire in 1896, had the first artificial ice surface in North America, was the first place in Pittsburgh where organized ice hockey was played and had the most modern indoor lighting system of the time era, that consisted of 1,500 incandescent lamps, 11 arc lights and 4 white calcium lights. In 1905-1907, the city was represented in the International Professional Hockey League, the first fully professional hockey league, by the Pittsburgh Professionals.
The Gardens housed the largest indoor rink in the world and was home to the city's first NHL franchise, the Pittsburgh Pirates, from 1925 to 1930. The Gardens also was home to the Pittsburgh Shamrocks and the Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets of the International Hockey League as well as the Pittsburgh Hornets of the American Hockey League.
In 1961, Pittsburgh Civic Arena was constructed for use of the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. Founded, by Jack McGregor as part of the 1967 NHL expansion, the Pittsburgh Penguins have played home games at Civic Arena since their inception. The Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992. The franchise recorded their third Stanley Cup in 2009. The teams included players Mark Recchi, Kevin Stevens, Jaromír Jágr, and Mario Lemieux. Lemieux holds multiple franchise records and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997. He suffered from multiple injuries, including Hodgkin's lymphoma, throughout his career. In 1999, Lemieux purchased the Penguins and saved the franchise from bankruptcy. He returned to play one year later as the first player/owner of the modern era. The Penguins, led by top point scorers Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, returned to the Stanley Cup finals in 2008 and won the franchise's third Cup in 2009. As of 2008, the Penguins rank 113% above the national average for male television viewers aged 18 to 34. Forbes projects that the franchise will become more valuable after their move to the Consol Energy Center in 2010.
On November 12, 1892, William Heffelfinger was paid $500 to participate in an American football game for the Allegheny Athletic Association. With this transaction, Heffelfinger became the first person to be paid to play football. The first professional football game was held at Recreation Park in Pittsburgh. Heffelfinger scored the game's only points as the Allegheny Athletic Association defeated the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, 4–0. The early professional football era was also represented in Pittsburgh, by top athletic association teams. The Duquesne Country and Athletic Club, was the top pro team in the state in 1898 and 1899. Later the Homestead Library & Athletic Club, fielded the top pro team in the state in 1900-1901. In 1902 the top players in the area, mainly from the Duquesne Country and Athletic Club line-up, formed the Pittsburgh Stars of the first National Football League. The Stars were suspected of being financed by Barney Dreyfuss and William Chase Temple, the owners of baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates. The team featured baseball players in the line-up including Christy Mathewson, a future Hall of Fame pitcher with the New York Giants and Fred Crolius, and outfielder with Pirates. The team won the league's only championship in 1902.
In 1933, as the oldest of nine children Art Rooney, who had been raised on the North Side of Pittsburgh, founded the Pittsburgh Steelers. Originally nicknamed the Pirates, the team later changed their name to the Steelers, to represent the city's heritage of producing steel. The Steelers' first season with a winning record came in 1942. However, they lost their first playoff game in 1947. In 1969, the Steelers hired head coach Chuck Noll who strategically drafted players in order to improve the team. Three years later, in the first playoff game at Three Rivers Stadium Pittsburgh's rookie running back Franco Harris returned an errant pass that bounced off an opposing player for a game winning touchdown in a play that later became labeled the Immaculate Reception. In 1974, the Steelers won their first Super Bowl in franchise history—a feat which they would repeat in 1975, 1978, and 1979 to become the first NFL franchise to win four Super Bowls. In 1992, Noll was succeeded by Bill Cowher, who led the franchise to its fifth Super Bowl victory in 2005. Mike Tomlin succeeded Cower and led the Steelers to an NFL record sixth Super Bowl victory in 2008. As of 2009, the Steelers have 18 members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In October 1964, Ernie Stautner, who played on the Steelers from 1950 to 1963, became the only Steelers' player to have his number—70—retired. In 2008, ESPN.com ranked Steelers' fans as the best in the NFL, citing their "unbelievable" sellout streak of 299 consecutive games. Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, son of founder Art Rooney, became the majority owner of the Steelers in November 2008 along with his son Art II, after they bought all of the shares of two of his four brothers.
Outside of the NFL, the city was represented by the Pittsburgh Americans of the second American Football League in 1936 and 1937. It was also be briefly represented by the Pittsburgh Maulers of the United States Football League, in 1984, and the Pittsburgh Gladiators (now the Tampa Bay Storm), of the first Arena Football League from 1987 until 1990. A new Arena Football League team, the Pittsburgh Power, play in the Consol Energy Center.
In addition, Pittsburgh is home to three women's full-contact football teams: the Pittsburgh Passion, the Pittsburgh Force and the Steel City Renegades. Founded in 2002, as members of the National Women's Football Association and having played in the Independent Women's Football League, the Passion are currently members of the Women's Football Alliance. The team went 12–0 and won a national title in 2007 as members of the NWFA. A newer team, the Pittsburgh Force, were founded in 2008 and are members of the WFA. The Renegades, founded in 2009, are members of the Women's Spring Football League.
The region has deep roots in the sport of Golf boasting the oldest continuous country club in the U.S. at Foxburg dating back to 1887.
The suburban Oakmont Country Club has hosted the U.S. Open Championships more than any other course at eight, and thus the Pittsburgh metro area more than any other metro. Oakmont has also hosted two U.S. Women's Open championships, three PGA Championships, and eight U.S. Amateurs. Other area courses such as Laurel Valley Golf Club and the Pittsburgh Field Club have hosted PGA Championships, the Ryder Cup, LPGA Championships and Senior PGA Championships.
The region has hosted annual PGA Tour events such as the 84 Lumber Classic (2001–2006) at Mystic Rock, the Dapper Dan Open 1939-49, the Pittsburgh Open (1950s), the Tri State Open (1980s), the Pittsburgh Senior Classic (1993–1998) and since 2010 the annual Mylan Classic.
Golf greats such as natives Arnold Palmer, Jim Furyk, Rocco Mediate, Scott Dunlap Bob Friend, Sam Parks, Jr., Jim Simons, Stephanie Sparks, Lew Wersham and Carol Semple and learned the game on area courses.
Since the 1960s the city has focused on revitalizing its rivers, hosting the Bassmaster Classic and the Forrest Wood Cup in the 2000s and seeing a boom in local fishing participation. Among the variety are Catfish and Trout. 
Pittsburgh is the host city for both the annual Three Rivers Regatta (since 1977) and the annual Head of the Ohio (since 1987) races and events. The University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University as well as several area high schools have long standing rowing teams.
In 2010 National Geographic named the city to its top six of "Best Cities for Kayaking".  Kayak Pittsburgh is the largest river recreation rental in the area located on the North Shore on the Allegheny River.
Suburban Ohiopyle State Park offers some of the best white-water rafting in the country.
The amateur club Pittsburgh Beadling have contested for regional and national titles for over 100 years, winning the National Amateur Cup in 1954, and historic teams such as the suburban Harmarville Hurricanes won national titles in 1952 and 1956 and contested for it in 1953. Pittsburgh Gallatin, Pittsburgh-Heidleberg and Pittsburgh Morgan Strasser all winning national titles in the 1920s, the 1930s, the 1940s and the 1950s.
The region's interest in soccer continues as modern stars such as natives Justin Evans, Meghan Klingenberg, Don Malinowski, John Stollmeyer, A. J. Wood and Marvell Wynne II have all achieved international success.
The Pittsburgh Harlequins are a rugby union team also based in Cheswick. The Pittsburgh Harlequins Rugby Club was founded in 1973 by a group of University of Pittsburgh law students. The organization has an active roster of 45 players and an alumni roster inclusive of more than 70 seasons of play. The Harlequins Rugby Club is a Division I member of the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union. Over 300 active players wear the Harlequin jerseys every year at the Division 1 men’s, Under 19, and Under 14 levels. In 1995, the Founders Field Center for Athletic Leadership was developed to support the Harlequins Men's and Youth programs. The 12 acre Founders Field facility includes lighting, irrigation, a clubhouse, locker rooms, concessions, and parking.
Pittsburgh and its region are internationally known for its extensive and varied trail system. Such assets as the Three Rivers, Ohio River, Youghiogheny River, Beaver River, Indian Creek, Panhandle, Laurel Highlands, Rachel Carson, Five Star and Montour offer stunning, natural, suburban and urban views of the metropolitan area. The Great Allegheny Passage provides an all natural-trail (non motorized) link to Washington, D.C., while the North Country Trail passes through the northern suburbs of the city and connects Bismarck, North Dakota to the Plattsburgh, New York area, with such cities as Duluth, Minnesota and Buffalo, New York in its path.
Within the urban core of the city and its immediate surroundings the Steps of Pittsburgh offer an urban hiking experience. "Urban oasis" parks that bring the wilds of nature into the middle of the urban core and feature over a mile of trails within their individual boundaries include: Point State, Frick, Highland, Schenley, Riverview, Grandview, South Side, Riverfront, Three Rivers, Point of View, and Roberto Clemente.
Large 500-2,000 acre suburban parks that feature several miles of diverse trails each are plentiful throughout the metropolitan area.
- Northern suburbs: North, Hartwood Acres, Harrison Hills, Deer Lakes, Moraine, McConnells Mill
- Southern suburbs: South, Round Hill, Ohiopyle,
- Western suburbs: Settler's Cabin, Hillman, Raccoon Creek.
- Eastern suburbs: Boyce, White Oak, Renziehausen, Keystone, Laurel Mountain, Laurel Ridge, Laurel Summit, Linn Run, Forbes
For hikers/trailblazers that desire a historical or cultural element to nature the metropolitan area offers the Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Bushy Run Battlefield, the Bear Run conservancy containing both Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, the smaller yet hikable Meadowcroft Rock Shelter features pre-Columbian archeology. The large urban parks described earlier such as Schenley Park includes several historical/cultural sites including Phipps Conservatory and proximity to Schenley Plaza, the Cathedral of Learning, Hillman Library and the Frick Gallery. Riverview includes the Allegheny Observatory and Point includes the Fort Pitt Museum and the remains of Fort Duquesne.
For true environmentalists and wildlife fans the metro area includes the Jennings Environmental Education Center, as well the Allegheny Islands State Park, Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge and Ohioplye for hiking and water sports.
Such teams as the Pittsburgh Triangles have built a small but loyal fan base for tennis in the region, being a perennial championship contender in the 1970s and winning a world title in 1975. Generations later the region still has deep tennis roots with the year-round all-weather Mellon Park Tennis Center being a world class facility for the sport, and helping to develop natives such as Bjorn Fratangelo, Bonnie Gadusek, Donald Johnson and Gretchen Magers in succeeding in international competition and rankings.
From 1979 to 1984 the city also hosted a yearly international tournament, the Pittsburgh Open.
Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania, Wisp Ski Resort and Boyce Park offer skiing with both PPG Place and North Park offering ice skating. In 2011, the Pittsburgh Penguins created a new public rink in the South Side neighborhood's Southside Works called "Penguin Pond".
Such notable olympians as natives Kristi Leskinen, Kylie Gleason Suna Murray, Ron Robertson, Mike Seibert, Suzanne Semanick, Jamie Silverstein and Taylor Toth have trained and began their careers at area facilities.
There are several universities within the city that field athletic teams in NCAA Division 1 including the University of Pittsburgh (often referred to as "Pitt"), Duquesne University and Robert Morris University. Of these, the University of Pittsburgh is the only school that is a member of a BCS "power" conference (the Atlantic Coast Conference). Other universities in Pittsburgh that field athletic teams include Carnegie Mellon University (Division III), Chatham University (Division III), Point Park University (NAIA), and Carlow University (NAIA).
College football in Pittsburgh dates back to the University of Pittsburgh which first organized a football team in 1889 and played its first sanctioned game in 1890. In the first half of the 20th century, Pitt, Duquesne, and Carnegie Tech (now called Carnegie Mellon) all fielded football squads that made "major" bowl game appearances from the 1920s through the 1930s. These appearances included Duquesne in the 1933 and 1936 Orange Bowl, Carnegie Tech in the 1938 Sugar Bowl, and the University of Pittsburgh appearing in four Rose Bowls (1927, 1929, 1932, 1936) as well as nearby Washington and Jefferson College in the 1922 Rose Bowl. In particular, Pitt was a national power during this era, claiming 8 national championships under the guidance of coaching legends such as Pop Warner and Jock Sutherland. More recently, the Panthers won another National Championship in 1976 and competed for several more through the 1980s. Multiple inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame played at Pitt, including Dan Marino, Tony Dorsett, Mike Ditka, and Larry Fitzgerald. Pitt is the only university in Western Pennsylvania to still play college football at the highest level, the Football Bowl Subdivision, while Duquesne and Robert Morris have football teams that compete in the Football Championship Subdivision, and Carnegie Mellon fields a Division III football team.
Three Pittsburgh universities, the University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, and Robert Morris University, compete in NCAA Division 1 basketball. Pitt and Duquesne are the traditional basketball powers in the city, but all three universities have made multiple appearances in the National Invitation Tournament and NCAA Tournament. Pitt claims two pre-NCAA tournament National Championships in 1928 and 1930  while Duquesne won the NIT title in 1955, its second straight trip to the NIT title game. Since the 2000–2001 season, a team from the region has always reached a post-season tournament, with Pitt having won multiple Big East Conference championships and having appeared in nine consecutive NCAA Tournaments, advancing to the Sweet 16 four times and the Elite Eight once. In the years 1941, 1964, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1989, 1992 and 2008, two of the city's universities sent teams to tournaments; in 2009 and 2010, all three universities earned bids to post season tournaments.
Pitt women's basketball has also made recent appearances in the NCAA Tournament. A rivalry game between Pitt and Duquesne, termed the City Game, is played annually between the two schools' men's and women's basketball teams, as well as their baseball teams.
Other collegiate sports
Along with college football and men's and women's basketball, the area universities compete in many additional sports. The University of Pittsburgh also fields NCAA Division I teams in baseball (its oldest sport first played in 1869), cross country, gymnastics, track and field, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, volleyball, and wrestling. The Duquesne Dukes, in addition to many of the sports above, also participates in Division I lacrosse, golf, and rowing. Robert Morris University fields Division I teams in hockey, among other sports.
A Formula-1 ChampBoat Series race, the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta, which is the largest inland regatta in the country during July at Point State Park. There is also an annual large rowing regatta, the Head of the Ohio, which was founded in 1987 and is one of the largest inland regattas in the United States.
For 30 years Pittsburgh has also hosted a large 10K and 5K road race, the Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race, which attracts nearly 10,000 athletes and has been ranked as a Top Twenty Multi-Race Events by USA Track & Field's publication On The Roads. In addition, the 20th Pittsburgh Marathon will be hosted in the city in May 2009.
Pittsburgh was previously home to the first national high school all-star basketball game, The Dapper Dan Roundball Classic, from 1965 to 1992, prior to its move to Detroit and later Chicago. It has long been home to the City Game between Pitt and Duquesne.
Since 1983 the Dirty Dozen Cycle Race has been held in the city.
Since 1936 the Dapper Dan Charities, a civic sports organization founded in part by a former editor Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has hosted an annual local and national celebrity and sport star dinner first at the William Penn Hotel then at the Hilton ballrooms and more recently at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
Pittsburgh has its own cricket league conducted by Pittsburgh Cricket Association which was founded in 2005. The league features about 16 teams and the games are held at linbrook park and edgebrook field.
Multiple professional athletes were born or raised in the Pittsburgh area. Major League Baseball players Ken Griffey, Sr., his son Ken Griffey, Jr., and Hall of Famer Stan Musial were born in Donora, Pennsylvania. Hall of Fame inductee, player and manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Honus Wagner was born and raised in Chartiers. Major League outfielder Tito Francona and pitcher Doc Medich were born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. Super Bowl winning coaches Bill Cowher and Mike Ditka were born in Pittsburgh and Carnegie respectively. Super Bowl winning quarterback Joe Namath and Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett were born in Beaver Falls and Rochester respectively. 3 Time Super Bowl MVP Joe Montana is from New Eagle. Jim Kelly from Pittsburgh was the leading QB of the Buffalo Bills to 4 straight Super Bowl appearances. Johnny Unitas, National Football League's most valuable player in 1959, 1964 and 1967 is from Pittsburgh as well. Owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban and Basketball Hall of Fame member Jack Twyman were born in Pittsburgh. Olympic gold medalists Swin Cash and Kurt Angle were born in McKeesport and Pittsburgh respectively. Professional golfers Rocco Mediate and Arnold Palmer were born in Greensburg and Latrobe respectively. Author Jim O'Brien, who was born in Pittsburgh, has authored 20 books about Pittsburgh sports.
Cradle of quarterbacks
The Pittsburgh region also has developed many notable athletes that have gone on to outstanding careers in professional sports. The region has produced a multitude of NFL quarterbacks, giving Western Pennsylvania the nickname "Cradle of Quarterbacks." Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Jim Kelly, Johnny Unitas, Bruce Gradkowski, Marc Bulger, George Blanda, Johnny Lujack, Jeff Hostetler, Gus Frerotte, Willie Thrower, Warren Heller, Johnny Gildea, Tyler Palko, Alex Van Pelt, Sandy Stephens, Terry Hanratty, Mike McMahon, Major Harris, Matt Cavanaugh, Chuck Fusina, Rod Rutherford, Ted Marchibroda, Babe Parilli, John Hufnagel, Tom Sherman, Richie Lucas, Boyd Brumbaugh, Scott Zolak, Ed Matesic, Tom Clements, Coley McDonough, Charley Seabright and current Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch all hail from within a 50 mile radius of the city.
Performance of the 4 major sports
All time pro franchises
|Pittsburgh Pirates||1882–present||baseball||PNC Park||Major League Baseball||1901, 1902, 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, 1979|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||1933–present||American football||Heinz Field||National Football League||1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005, 2008|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||1967–present||ice hockey||CONSOL Energy Center||National Hockey League||1990-91, 1991–92, 2008–09|
|Pittsburgh Power||2011–present||arena football||CONSOL Energy Center||Arena Football League|
|Pittsburgh Riverhounds||1999–present||soccer||Highmark Stadium||USL Professional Division|
|Pittsburgh Colts||1979–present||American football||South Stadium||North American Football League|
|Pittsburgh Sledgehammers||2010–present||rugby league||Founders Field||USARL|
|Pittsburgh Passion||2003–present||women's American football||George K. Cupples Stadium||Women's Football Alliance||2007 (NWFA)|
|Pittsburgh Force||2009–present||women's American football||Ambridge High School Football Field||Women's Football Alliance|
|Steel City Renegades||2010–present||women's American football||Chartiers Valley Primary School Fields||Women's Spring Football League|
|Pittsburgh Pipers/Condors||1967-68, 1969–70, 1970-72||basketball||Pittsburgh Civic Arena||American Basketball Association||1967-68|
|Pittsburgh Stogies||1884||baseball||Exposition Park I||Union Association|
|Pittsburgh Burghers||1890||baseball||Exposition Park||Players' League|
|Pittsburgh Filipinos/Stogies/Rebels||1912–1915||baseball||Exposition Park||United States Baseball League, Federal League||1912 (Pennant)|
|Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets||1915–1925, 1930–1932||ice hockey||Duquesne Gardens||International Hockey League||1924, 1925|
|Pittsburgh Keystones||1922||baseball||Ammon Field||Negro National League|
|Homestead Grays||1912–1950||baseball||Forbes Field||Negro League||1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1944, 1948|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||1925–1930||ice hockey||Duquesne Gardens||National Hockey League|
|Pittsburgh Ironmen||1946-47||basketball||Duquesne Gardens||Basketball Association of America|
|Pittsburgh Crawfords||1931–1938||baseball||Greenlee Field||Negro League||1932*, 1933*, 1934, 1935, 1936|
|Pittsburgh Keystones||1895–1904||ice hockey||Schenley Park Casino, Duquesne Gardens||Western Pennsylvania Hockey League||1902|
|Pittsburgh Athletic Club||1899–1904, 1907–1909||ice hockey||Duquesne Gardens||Western Pennsylvania Hockey League||1899, 1900, 1901|
|Pittsburgh Bankers||1900–1904, 1907–1909||ice hockey||Duquesne Gardens||Western Pennsylvania Hockey League||1903, 1908, 1909|
|Pittsburgh Victorias||1902–1904||ice hockey||Duquesne Gardens||Western Pennsylvania Hockey League||1903|
|Pittsburgh Pirates (NBL)||1937-39,
|basketball||National Basketball League|
|Pittsburgh Professionals||1904–1905||ice hockey||Duquesne Gardens||International Professional Hockey League|
|Pittsburgh Lyceum||1907–1908, 1910–1920||ice hockey||Duquesne Gardens, Winter Garden||Western Pennsylvania Hockey League|
|Pittsburgh Pirates (WPHL)||1907–1908||ice hockey||Duquesne Gardens||Western Pennsylvania Hockey League|
|Pittsburgh Duquesne||1908–1909, 1916–1920||ice hockey||Duquesne Gardens, Winter Garden||Western Pennsylvania Hockey League|
|Pittsburgh Shamrocks||1935–1936||ice hockey||Duquesne Gardens||International Hockey League|
|Pittsburgh Hornets||1936–1956, 1961–1967||ice hockey||Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh Civic Arena||American Hockey League||1951-52, 1954–55, 1966–67|
|Pittsburgh Triangles||1974–1976||tennis||Pittsburgh Civic Arena||World TeamTennis||1975|
|Pittsburgh Spirit||1978–1980, 1981–1986||soccer||Pittsburgh Civic Arena||Major Soccer League|
|Allegheny Athletic Association||1890–1896||American football||Recreation Park||Independent||1891 (local champs), 1896 (undefeated season)|
|Pittsburgh Athletic Club||1891–1898||American football||East Liberty Park||Independent||1891 (undefeated season)|
|Duquesne Country and Athletic Club||1895–1900||American football||Exposition Park||Independent||1898, 1899|
|Homestead Library & Athletic Club||1900–1901||American football||Carnegie Library of Homestead||Independent||1900, 1901|
|Pittsburgh Stars||1902||American football||Recreation Park||National Football League (1902)||1902|
|Pitcairn Quakers||1904–1920||American football||Broadway Stadium||Independent|
|Pittsburgh Lyceum||1906–1910||American football||Recreation Park||Independent|
|Pittsburgh Americans||1936–1937||American football||Forbes Field||American Football League II|
|Pittsburgh Gladiators||1987–1990||American football||Pittsburgh Civic Arena||Arena Football League|
|Pittsburgh Maulers||1984||American football||Three Rivers Stadium||United States Football League|
|Pittsburgh Phantoms||1967||soccer||Forbes Field||United Soccer Association|
|Pittsburgh Phantoms||1994||roller hockey||Pittsburgh Civic Arena||Roller Hockey International|
|Pittsburgh Phantoms||2009–10||basketball||Carnegie Library of Homestead||American Basketball Association|
|Pittsburgh Xplosion||2005–2008||basketball||Pittsburgh Civic Arena / Peterson Events Center||Continental Basketball Association|
|Pittsburgh Monticello/Loendi||1903–192?||basketball||??||Black Fives League||1912, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923|
|Steel City Derby Demons||2006||roller derby||Romp'n Roll Roller Skating Rink||Women's Flat Track Derby Association|
|Pittsburgh Bulls||1990–1993||indoor lacrosse||Pittsburgh Civic Arena||Major Indoor Lacrosse League|
|Pittsburgh Stingers||1994–1995||indoor soccer||Pittsburgh Civic Arena||Continental Indoor Soccer League|
|Pittsburgh CrosseFire||2000||indoor lacrosse||Pittsburgh Civic Arena||National Lacrosse League|
|Pittsburgh South Side||1903–1915||basketball||??||Western Pennsylvania Basketball League/
Central Basketball League
|1904, 1907, 1913|
|Pittsburgh Forge||2001–2004||hockey||Island Sports Center||North American Hockey League||2003|
*The championships listed for the teams are the highest possible achievement in their respective leagues for each season. For baseball seasons prior to the advent of the World Series in 1903 and the Negro League World Series in 1942, National League Championships and Negro National League Championships are listed.
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