1997 Pittsburgh Pirates season

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1997 Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates logo 2014.svg
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record 79–83 (.488)
Divisional place 2nd
Other information
Owner(s) Kevin McClatchy
General manager(s) Cam Bonifay
Manager(s) Gene Lamont
Local television WPGH-TV & WPTT-TV
Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh
Local radio KDKA-AM
(Steve Blass, Greg Brown, Lanny Frattare, Bob Walk)
< Previous season     Next season >

The 1997 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 116th season of the franchise; the 111th in the National League. This was their 28th season at Three Rivers Stadium. The Pirates finished second in the National League Central with a record of 79–83.

Offseason[edit]

Regular season[edit]

The 1997 Pittsburgh Pirates were informally known as "The Freak Show,"[5] as the team of rookies and cheap veterans (the team only had a $9 million payroll) unexpectedly competed with the Houston Astros for the division title until the final week of the season.

New stadium referendum[edit]

Perhaps the most interesting headline of the Pirates' 1997 season didn't occur on the field. In 1997 voters in Pittsburgh's Allegheny County and 10 surrounding counties were presented with a referendum, known as the Regional Renaissance Initiative, to raise their county sales tax by 1/2% for seven years to fund, among other things, new stadiums for the Pirates and Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams were playing in Three Rivers Stadium, which at the time was considered by many to be obsolete. The unexpected pennant drive provided a backdrop for the question as it was debated throughout the summer, given the concern that the Pirates might leave the city if a new stadium wasn't procured.

The referendum failed badly in all 11 counties. Only in Allegheny County was it close (58-42), while being rejected by 2-1 to 3-1 margins in other counties. The next year what became known as "Plan B" was pursued by local and state government officials which called again for two new stadiums as well as an expansion of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The new plan was eventually passed, this time without a referendum and despite polls showing the public was against this as well, resulting in the construction of PNC Park and Heinz Field, where both teams would start playing in 2001.

Season standings[edit]

NL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Houston Astros 84 78 0.519 46–35 38–43
Pittsburgh Pirates 79 83 0.488 5 43–38 36–45
Cincinnati Reds 76 86 0.469 8 40–41 36–45
St. Louis Cardinals 73 89 0.451 11 41–40 32–49
Chicago Cubs 68 94 0.420 16 42–39 26–55


Game Log[edit]

1997 Game Log (79–83)
Legend:           = Win           = Loss
Bold = Pirates team member

Record vs. opponents[edit]

1997 National League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
Team ATL CHC CIN COL FLA HOU LAD MON NYM PHI PIT SD SF STL AL
Atlanta 9–2 9–2 5–6 4–8 7–4 6–5 10–2 5–7 10–2 5–6 8–3 7–4 8–3 7–5
Chicago 2–9 7–5 2–9 2–9 3–9 5–6 4–7 6–5 6–5 7–5 6–5 5–6 4–8 9–6
Cincinnati 2–9 5–7 5–6 5–6 5–7 6–5 6–5 2–9 8–3 8–4 5–6 4–7 6–6 9–6
Colorado 6–5 9–2 6–5 7–4 5–6 5–7 7–4 6–5 4–7 4–7 4–8 4–8 7–4 9–7
Florida 8–4 9–2 6–5 4–7 7–4 7–4 7–5 4–8 6–6 7–4 5–6 5–6 5–6 12–3
Houston 4–7 9–3 7–5 6–5 4–7 7–4 8–3 7–4 4–7 6–6 6–5 3–8 9–3 4–11
Los Angeles 5–6 6–5 5–6 7–5 4–7 4–7 7–4 6–5 10–1 9–2 5–7 6–6 5–6 9–7
Montreal 2–10 7–4 5–6 4–7 5–7 3–8 4–7 5–7 6–6 5–6 8–3 6–5 6–5 12–3
New York 7–5 5–6 9–2 5–6 8–4 4–7 5–6 7–5 7–5 7–4 5–6 3–8 9–2 7–8
Philadelphia 2-10 5–6 3–8 7–4 6–6 7–4 1–10 6–6 5–7 5–6 7–4 3–8 6–5 5–10
Pittsburgh 6–5 5–7 4–8 7–4 4–7 6–6 2–9 6–5 4–7 6–5 5–6 8–3 9–3 7–8
San Diego 3–8 5–6 6–5 8–4 6–5 5–6 7–5 3–8 6–5 4–7 6–5 4–8 5–6 8–8
San Francisco 4–7 6–5 7–4 8–4 6–5 8–3 6–6 5–6 8–3 8–3 3–8 8–4 3–8 10–6
St. Louis 3–8 8–4 6–6 4–7 6–5 3-9 6–5 5–6 2–9 5–6 3–9 6–5 8–3 8–7

Detailed records[edit]

Roster[edit]

1997 Pittsburgh Pirates
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Opening Day lineup[edit]

Opening Day Starters
Name Position
Tony Womack 2B
Jermaine Allensworth CF
Al Martin LF
Mark Johnson 1B
Kevin Elster SS
Jason Kendall C
José Guillén RF
Joe Randa 3B
Jon Lieber SP

Player stats[edit]

Batting
Pitching

Awards and honors[edit]

The Sporting News Executive of the Year Award

1997 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

Notable transactions[edit]

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Calgary Cannons Pacific Coast League Trent Jewett
AA Carolina Mudcats Southern League Marc Hill and Jeff Banister
A Lynchburg Hillcats Carolina League Jeff Banister and Jeff Richardson
A Augusta Greenjackets South Atlantic League Jeff Richardson and Scott Little
A-Short Season Erie Seawolves New York–Penn League Marty Brown
Rookie GCL Pirates Gulf Coast League Woody Huyke

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Lynchburg

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]