1997 Pittsburgh Pirates season

1997 Pittsburgh Pirates
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)
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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

New stadium referendum

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.

Regular season

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.


Season standings

NL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Houston Astros 8478 0.519 46–35 38–43
Pittsburgh Pirates 7983 0.488 5 43–38 36–45
Cincinnati Reds 7686 0.469 8 40–41 36–45
St. Louis Cardinals 7389 0.451 11 41–40 32–49
Chicago Cubs 6894 0.420 16 42–39 26–55

Game Log

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

Record vs. opponents

1997 National League Records

Sources:
Team ATL CHC CIN COL FLA HOU LAD MON NYM PHI PIT SD SF STL AL
Atlanta9–29–25–64–87–46–510–25–710–25–68–37–48–37–5
Chicago2–97–52–92–93–95–64–76–56–57–56–55–64–89–6
Cincinnati2–95–75–65–65–76–56–52–98–38–45–64–76–69–6
Colorado 6–59–26–57–45–65–77–46–54–74–74–84–87–49–7
Florida8–49–26–54–77–47–47–54–86–67–45–65–65–612–3
Houston4–79–37–56–54–77–48–37–44–76–66–53–89–34–11
Los Angeles 5–66–55–67–54–74–77–46–510–19–25–76–65–69–7
Montreal2–107–45–64–75–73–84–75–76–65–68–36–56–512–3
New York7–55–69–25–68–44–75–67–57–57–45–63–89–27–8
Philadelphia2-105–63–87–46–67–41–106–65–75–67–43–86–55–10
Pittsburgh6–55–74–87–44–76–62–96–54–76–55–68–39–37–8
San Diego3–85–66–58–46–55–67–53–86–54–76–54–85–68–8
San Francisco4–76–57–48–46–58–36–65–68–38–33–88–43–810–6
St. Louis3–88–46–64–76–53-96–55–62–95–63–96–58–38–7

Detailed records

Roster

1997 Pittsburgh Pirates
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Opening Day lineup

Opening Day Starters
NamePosition
Tony Womack2B
Jermaine AllensworthCF
Al MartinLF
Mark Johnson1B
Kevin ElsterSS
Jason KendallC
José GuillénRF
Joe Randa3B
Jon LieberSP

Player stats

Batting
Pitching

Awards and honors

The Sporting News Executive of the Year Award

1997 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

Notable transactions

Farm system

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

Further reading

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