1966 September Flop: A Half-Century Ago Pittsburgh nearly won the NL pennant
Does anyone have any memories or information to share about the 1966 Pittsburgh Pirates' near-miss pennant drive?
The Bucs were 25 games over .500 at 81-56 on September 4, with a 2 game lead over both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. But over the final four weeks of the season, beginning on Labor Day, September 5 they could only manage to go 11-14. They finished in third-place, 3 games behind the Dodgers. Sandy Koufax pitched a pennant-clinching shutout on the last day of the regular season, October 2, nailing down the pennant and denying the Giants a chance to finish in a tie and setting up a playoff for the NL title. That turned out to be the final regular season performance of Koufax's career. This was in the days of 10 team leagues and in the last few years before divisional play began. The Baltimore Orioles would complete an improbable 4 games to none sweep of the Dodgers in the 1966 World Series.
Roberto Clemente had one of the best years of his career in 1966 for the Pirates with career highs in home runs (29) and RBI (119).
I vaguely remember that the 1966 Pirates were a highly spirited team and that from a public relations standpoint broadcaster, Bob Prince led the charge as the Bucs were resurgent after a few down years after their 1960 world's championship. The team would win not win for a few more years after '66, but took divisional titles in 1969 & 1970 and then won it all with a seven game, World Series victory over the Baltimore Orioles in 1971.
Last edited by philliesfiend55; 12-02-2016 at 07:35 AM.