1927 Pittsburgh Pirates
W: 94 L: 60 PCT: .610
The 1927 Pittsburgh Pirates are like the younger brother who never gets noticed because the older brother (the 1927 New York Yankees) accomplished too much. The Pirates in their own right were a very strong hitting ballclub. The Pirates led the NL in batting with a .305 team batting average (the Yankees led the AL with a .307 BA). Any team compared to the 1927 Yankees with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, are going to start out behind the 8-ball. The Pirates will hit, but with a team total of 54 HR, they finish 2nd to Babe Ruth’s 60. In this 4-team NL Challenge, I am interested in seeing how their hitting and adequate pitching might allow them to compete for another Pennant.
The Pirates lineup will not have a weak bat, other than at Catcher, with Johnny Gooch (.258/.305/.351). But with a name like Gooch, you cannot help but be happy with him in the lineup.
The Waner brothers, Paul (Big Poison) and Lloyd (Little Poison) combined for 460 hits between them in 1927.
(Big Poison and Little Poison)
Lloyd was the lead-off hitter, batting .355 with a .396 OBP. Paul was your ever dangerous 3-hole hitter, with a .380 BA, and 69 XBH (9 HR, 18 3B, 42 2B). His numbers remind me of one of my childhood favorites, Rod Carew of the Twins, in 1977 batting .388 with 14 HR, 16 3B and 38 2B (68 XBH).
(Paul Waner/Rod Carew)
With the Waner brothers handling lead-off and 3-hole duties, Pie Traynor was another front-line standout on this club. Traynor hit .342 with 46 XBH on the season. The true essence of this ’27 Pirates lineup can best be absorbed as if you are looking at the batting leaders for another season, when it is just this ’27 Pirates lineup, listed in order of batting average:
P. Waner …. .380
L. Waner …. .355
Traynor …. .342
Harris …. .326
Barnhart …. .319
Cuyler …. .309
Grantham …. .305
Wright …. .281
Gooch …. .258
Paul Waner and Glenn Wright led the team in homers, with 9 each. While this team will not be known for their HR prowess, they will put together big innings with their ability to get on-base and deliver a bases clearing double or triple. Kiki Cuyler (.309) and Clyde Barnhart (.319) will take turns at DH, with the other playing in the OF.
(Pie Traynor/Kiki Cuyler)
(Glenn Wright/George Grantham)
On the mound, there is plenty of pitching to compete, but not as much as the 1906 Cubs and 1969 Mets. Lee Meadows (19-10, 3.40) leads the starting staff with 38 actual starts. Vic Aldridge (15-10, 4.25) is the #2 starter, making 34 starts. Carmen Hill (22-11, 3.24), the highest graded pitcher for the 1927 Pirates, is the #3 starter in the rotation, with 31 starts. And rounding out the rotation is Ray Kremer (19-8, 2.47) with 28 starts. Kremer will close out the rotation even though he is their strongest grade-wise pitcher, having the fewest number of starts for main 4 starters. 2 pitchers will provide adequate relief in John Miljus (BZ) and Mike Cvengros (B*). But Pittsburgh will be relying on long starts from their 4-man rotation.
LEE MEADOWS (BZ)
VIC ALDRIDGE (CZ)
CARMEN “SPECS” HILL (BZ)
RAY KREMER (AZ)
Fielding wise, the ’27 Pirates will be stuck at “Fielding Two”. Other than Lloyd Waner (OF-3) and Pie Traynor (3B-6) the other positions are merely average to poor.
The success of the 1927 Pirates will depend on their lineup producing 1 thru 9, and a pitching staff which includes 1 AZ and 2 BZ starters.
(Lloyd Waner, Babe Ruth, Paul Waner, Lou Gehrig)
1927 Pittsburgh Pirates Schedule:
Games 1-2, (13-14, 25-26): ’53 Dodgers at ’27 Pirates
Games 3-4, (15-16, 27-28): ’69 Mets at ’27 Pirates
Games 5-6, (17-18, 29-30): ’27 Pirates at ’06 Cubs
Games 7-8, (19-20, 31-32): ’27 Pirates at ’53 Dodgers
Games 9-10, (21-22, 33-34): ’27 Pirates at ’69 Mets
Games 11-12, (23-24, 35-36): ’06 Cubs at ’27 Pirates