1970 Pittsburgh Pirates season

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1970 Pittsburgh Pirates
1970 NL East Champions
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) John W. Galbreath
General manager(s) Joe L. Brown
Manager(s) Danny Murtaugh
Local television KDKA-TV
Bob Prince, Nellie King, Gene Osborn
Local radio KDKA
Bob Prince, Nellie King, Gene Osborn
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The 1970 Pittsburgh Pirates season resulted in the team winning their first National League East title with a record of 89-73, five games ahead of the Chicago Cubs. However, they lost the NLCS to the NL West Champion Cincinnati Reds, three games to none.

The Pirates were managed by Danny Murtaugh and played their home games at Forbes Field during the first part of the year, before moving into the brand new Three Rivers Stadium on July 16. Coinciding with their move, the Pirates became the first major league team to adopt pullover jerseys and sans-a-belt pants for their uniforms, a style copied by a majority of the MLB for the next two decades and which the Pirates themselves would wear through the 1990 season.[2]


Three Rivers Stadium[edit]

In 1958, the Pirates had sold Forbes Field to the University of Pittsburgh, who wanted the land for expanded graduate facilities. Pitt then leased Forbes back to the Pirates until a new multipurpose stadium could be built. The Steelers opted to play at Pitt Stadium in the meantime. In June 1970, the Pirates played their final game at Forbes Field. It was a doubleheader sweep of the Chicago Cubs and Bill Mazeroski got the final hit at Forbes Field.[3]

A site on the North Side had been chosen earlier in the year, but it took until April 25, 1968 to finally break ground. Three Rivers Stadium opened on July 16, 1970, and became the home of the Pirates and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Notable transactions[edit]

Regular season[edit]

  • June 12, 1970: Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres.[5] Allegedly, Ellis pitched the no-hitter on acid. According to Ellis, in Donald Hall's book, In the Country of Baseball, the Pirates were starting a west-coast road trip. After the Pirates landed in San Diego, Ellis visited his hometown of Los Angeles for a party. Ellis had forgotten he was slated to pitch the next day, so he started doing acid the night before the game. At around 10 a.m., after catching maybe an hour of sleep, he realized he was in the wrong place.[6]

Season standings[edit]

NL East W L Pct. GB
Pittsburgh Pirates 89 73 .549 --
Chicago Cubs 84 78 .519 5
New York Mets 83 79 .512 6
St. Louis Cardinals 76 86 .469 13
Philadelphia Phillies 73 88 .453 15.5
Montreal Expos 73 89 .451 16

Opening Day lineup[edit]

Notable transactions[edit]


1970 Pittsburgh Pirates
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Player stats[edit]


Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
2B Mazeroski, BillBill Mazeroski 112 367 84 .229 7 39

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Pagán, JoséJosé Pagán 95 230 61 .265 7 29
Martínez, JoséJosé Martínez 19 20 1 .050 0 0


Starting pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Blass, SteveSteve Blass 31 196.2 10 12 3.52 120
Ellis, DockDock Ellis 30 201.2 13 10 3.21 128
Cambria, FredFred Cambria 6 33.1 1 2 3.51 14

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Lamb, JohnJohn Lamb 23 0 1 3 2.78 24
Hartenstein, ChuckChuck Hartenstein 17 1 1 1 4.56 14
Brunet, GeorgeGeorge Brunet 12 1 1 0 2.70 17
Acosta, EdEd Acosta 3 0 0 1 13.50 1


National League Championship Series[edit]

The Cincinnati Reds won the series, three games to none, over the Pirates.

Game Score Date Location Attendance
1 Cincinnati - 3, Pittsburgh - 0 October 3 Three Rivers Stadium 33,088
2 Cincinnati - 3, Pittsburgh - 1 October 4 Three Rivers Stadium 39,317
3 Pittsburgh - 2, Cincinnati - 3 October 5 Riverfront Stadium 40,538

Awards and honors[edit]

1970 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Columbus Jets International League Joe Morgan
AA Waterbury Pirates Eastern League Red Davis
A Salem Rebels Carolina League Billy Klaus
A Gastonia Pirates Western Carolinas League Ed Hobaugh
Short-Season A Niagara Falls Pirates New York-Penn League Irv Noren
Rookie GCL Pirates Gulf Coast League Dick Cole
Rookie GCL Tourists Gulf Coast League Ed Napoleon