The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of Major League Baseball's most historic franchises as they were founded in 1891 as a National League franchise. The Pirates were known for saving the National League to begin the 20th century. Fun Fact: the Pirates got their team name in 1891 after star second basemen Lou Bierbauer didn't sign with Philadelphia and that led to Pittsburgh drawing criticism from the Philadelphia Athletics and American Association officials called these actions "piratical". The Pirates were originally the Pittsburgh Alleghenys until they decided to stick with the name of "Pirates". Even the Pirates currently play in the National League Central division, they've not won the division since it was created, only making the playoffs through Wild Card berths during that stretch, but the Pirates have won the National League East division a total of 9 different times when they were a part of that division. The Pirates also have 9 National League Pennants that they have won and they've also won the World Series championship a total of 9 times. The history of the franchise is littered with legendary players such as Roberto Clemente, Andrew McCutchen, Willie Stargell, Barry Bonds, Honus Wagner, and countless others. Recently we've discovered that some of these Pirates jersey have been sold for extremely high amounts. Today we will take a look at the five most expensive Pittsburgh Pirates jerseys sold to date:
5. 2013 MVP Andrew McCutchen Game Worn Jersey - $1,604
Andrew McCutchen was one of the most universally loved Major League Baseball players when he first broke into the league with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2013, Cutch was awarded with the National League's Most Valuable Player Award, he represented the Pirates on the National League All-Star team, he hit a total of 21 home runs, he stole a total of 27 bases, he had an immaculate batting average of .317, and he drove in a total of 84 runs. During his time with the Buccos, Cutch was named to five different National League All-Star teams, he won 4 different Silver Slugger Awards, and he even added a Gold Glove Award to his name. This particular jersey that was sold was worn by Cutch during a game on May 7th, 2013 where he went 4-4 at the plate adding an RBI to his name. This jersey was also signed by him and also shows several dirt stains he got during the game throughout the entire jersey. His jersey was sold for a total of $1,604 as a part of the Leland's Classic Auction.
4. 1964 Willie Stargell Game Worn and Signed Jersey - $12,600
Willie Stargell spent his whole entire 21 year Major League Baseball career playing in a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform. Stargell was one of the most gifted power hitters in the National League during his time, as he led the National League in home runs twice in 1971 and in 1973, and is also the franchise leader in home runs with a total of 475 home runs hit in his career. Stargell was also awarded the National League's Most Valuable Player Award once in his career in 1979. 1964 was Stargell's third season in the big leagues, as he hit a towering 21 home runs, drove in a total of 78 runs, and had a batting average of .273. Wagner was named into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988. His jersey was sold at Heritage Auctions as a part of the Summer Platinum Night Sports Collectibles Catalog Auction that was located in Dallas. The jersey sold for a total of $12,600 and was sold on August 30th, 2020.
3. 1986 Barry Bonds Game Worn First Career Home Run Rookie Jersey - $15, 497
Barry Bonds began his Major League Career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986. In the last game of the series on June 4th, 1986 against the Atlanta Braves, Bonds belted his first of 762 career home runs off of Craig McCarthy as part of Bond's four hit and four RBI performance hitting from the leadoff spot in the Pirates lineup. Bonds ended up winning two National League Most Valuable Player Awards wearing a Pirates uniform, and added three Silver Slugger Awards and three Gold Glove Awards to his name. Unfortunately for Bond's he was suspected of using performance-enhanced drugs which ruined his chances of getting inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. The Pirates finished dead last in the National League in the 1986 season, but Bond's gave the fans hope with his very successful rookie campaign. His jersey was sold as part of the Leland's Auctions as part of the December 2011 Catalog, and the jersey was sold for $15,497.
2. Honus Wagner Game Worn Pittsburgh Pirates Coaches Jersey - $40,000
Honus Wagner, also known as the "Flying Dutchman" was one of the most historic Major League Baseball Players who played in the era known as the "dead-ball era". Wagner is known to be the greatest shortstop that has ever put on a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform, and is also arguably the greatest shortstop to ever play the game. He won 8 National League batting titles, and he also led the league in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, RBI's, doubles, and stolen bases in at least three different seasons. Wagner finished his career posting an immaculate career batting average of .329, he had a total of 1,732 runs batted in, and he is a part of the 3,000 hit club, with 3,430 career base hits. Wagner was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame as one of the inaugural five among Ty Cobb, Christy Matthewson, Babe Ruth, and Walter Johnson. His jersey was sold for a whopping $40,000 in March of 2020.
1. 1963 Roberto Clemente Jersey - $146,000
Roberto Clemente was one of the greatest men Major League Baseball has ever seen, as he was one of Major League Baseball's first Latin American superstars, and he was a major influence into many Latin Americans in learning how to play the game of baseball. Clemente was an all-time great right fielder, as he won a total of 12 Gold Glove Awards, which is the most in the history of the right field position, and Clemente also won the National League's batting title 4 different times. At the end of every regular season, one player each year is awarded with the Roberto Clemente Award, which was named after Clemente and in order to be eligible to win the award you have to represent the game of baseball through extraordinary character, be involved with a lot of philanthropy events, be involved in helping your specific community become a better place, and just be a positive character on and off the field. This jersey that was sold was offered for the very first time at the 14th annual Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory Auction, and the jersey was sold for an extraordinary amount of $146,000.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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