1970 Pittsburgh Pirates season

1970 Pittsburgh Pirates
1970 NL East Champions
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) John W. Galbreath (majority shareholder)
Bing Crosby
Thomas Johnson (minority shareholders)
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

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

Regular season

  • June 12, 1970: Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres.[7] 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.[8]

Season standings

NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Pittsburgh Pirates 8973 0.549 50–32 39–41
Chicago Cubs 8478 0.519 5 46–34 38–44
New York Mets 8379 0.512 6 44–38 39–41
St. Louis Cardinals 7686 0.469 13 34–47 42–39
Philadelphia Phillies 7388 0.453 15½ 40–40 33–48
Montreal Expos 7389 0.451 16 39–41 34–48

Record vs. opponents

1970 National League Records

Atlanta 8–45–139–96–126–66–67–56–69–97–117–5
Chicago 4–87–57–56–613–57–119–98–109–37–57–11
Cincinnati 13–55–715–313–57–58–47–58–48–109–99–3
Houston 9–95–73–158–108–46–64–86–614–410–86–6
Los Angeles 12–66–65–1310–88–47–56–56–611–79–97–5
Montreal 6–65–135–74–84–810–811–79–96–66–67–11
New York 6–611–74–86–65–78–1013–56–126–66–612–6
Philadelphia 5-79–95–78–45–67–115–134–149–38–48–10
Pittsburgh 6–610–84–86–66–69–912–614–46–64–812–6
San Diego 9–93–910–84–147–116–66–63–96–65–134–8
San Francisco 11–75–79–98–109–96–66–64–88–413–57–5
St. Louis 5–711–73–96–65–711–76–1210–86–128–45–7

Detailed records

Game log

1970 Game Log: 89–73 (Home: 50–32; Away: 39–41)
Legend:           = Win           = Loss
Bold = Pirates team member

Opening Day lineup

Opening Day Starters
Matty AlouCF
Richie Hebner3B
Roberto ClementeRF
Willie StargellLF
Al Oliver1B
Gene AlleySS
Jerry MayC
Bill Mazeroski2B
Steve BlassSP


Notable transactions


1970 Pittsburgh Pirates
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters




National League Championship Series

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

1Cincinnati – 3, Pittsburgh – 0October 3Three Rivers Stadium33,088
2Cincinnati – 3, Pittsburgh – 1October 4Three Rivers Stadium39,317
3Pittsburgh – 2, Cincinnati – 3October 5Riverfront Stadium40,538



Awards and honors

1970 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

Farm system

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
A-Short Season 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



  1. From 1882–1906, the team played in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, which became annexed by Pittsburgh as the North Shore in 1907.
  2. http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/pit/history/uniforms_logos.jsp
  3. The Best Game Ever, Preface, p.xiii, Jim Reisler, Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York, 2007, ISBN 978-0-7867-1943-3
  4. Danny Murtaugh
  5. Dave Giusti at "Baseball Almanac"
  6. Bo Belinsky at Baseball Reference
  7. Dock Ellis No Hitter
  8. ESPN.com – Page2 – The List: Baseball's biggest rumors
  9. 1970 Opening Day lineup at "Baseball-Almanac"
  10. Al McBean at Baseball Reference
  11. Al McBean at Baseball Reference
  12. Dave Parker at Baseball Reference
  13. Ed Ott at Baseball Almanac
  14. Orlando Pena at Baseball Almanac
  15. Chuck Hartenstein at Baseball-Reference
  16. Orlando Pena at Baseball Almanac
  17. George Brunet at Baseball Almanac
  18. Dave Ricketts at Baseball Almanac
  19. Mudcat Grant at Baseball Almanac
  20. "Major League Baseball Regular Season Hitting Stats | pirates.com: Stats". Pittsburgh Pirates.
  21. "Major League Baseball Postseason Hitting Stats | pirates.com: Stats". Pittsburgh Pirates.
  22. "Major League Baseball Regular Season Pitching Stats | pirates.com: Stats". Pittsburgh Pirates.
  23. "Major League Baseball Postseason Pitching Stats | pirates.com: Stats". Pittsburgh Pirates.


  • 1970 Pittsburgh Pirates at Baseball Reference
  • 1970 Pittsburgh Pirates at Baseball Almanac
  • Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles, eds. (1997). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (2nd ed.). Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America. ISBN 978-0-9637189-8-3. 
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