Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Team colors: Pirates

The Pirates and Dodgers play again tonight in Pittsburgh in a game between two scuffling teams that means next to nothing in the grand scheme of a season. Oh sure, the Associated Press will have something dramatic to say. But if the Pirates win, it's a victory over an injury-riddled, offensive-deficient team saddled with an inept owner. If the Dodgers win, it's a victory over a team that hasn't had a winning record in decades.

I know we have to squeeze some drama out of these games, but, really, it's just a pleasant night at the ballpark here (and what's wrong with that?)

I really need to get to PNC Park before my traveling days are over. I've been told by many that it is the best place to view a game in all of major league baseball. I have some relatives in the greater Pittsburgh area, so I don't know what's holding me up.

Once I get there, maybe I'll figure out why all of their pro sports teams feature black and gold as their team colors. Why is that? Which team started that trend? And, no, I will not google it. I don't have enough time to write a post as it is.

I found it jarring when the Pirates suddenly started incorporating red in their uniform during the late '90s. The Pirates did wear red as recently as the 1940s, but that was when their team colors were blue and red. I don't know why red had to show up again. You don't see the Steelers wearing red (except for that little speck of crimson on their helmet).

Anyway, it is my hope when I do a rundown of the colors Topps used for its Pirates cards over the years, that the main colors will be black and gold. Or black and yellow. I don't want to see red as a leading color.

So, let's go:

1964: blue, red and yellow
1965: pink and yellow
1966: pink
1967: purple
1968: pink
1969: pink
1971: yellow, orange and light blue
1972: light blue, blue and orange
1974: black and yellow
1976: green and gold
1977: yellow and green
1978: purple and red
1979: light blue
1980: purple, gray and red
1981: gold and black
1982: purple and orange
1983: gold and blue
1984: gold and red
1985: black and yellow
1986: yellow
1987: gold
1988: gold and red
1989: yellow, black and gray
1991: gold and gray
1992: yellow, black and red
1993: gold, black and gray
1994: yellow and black
1998: black
2000: black
2002: black and gold
2003: black, gold and red
2004: black and gold
2005: gold and gray
2006: gold and red
2007: gold and gray
2008: gold and black
2009: gold
2010: gold
2011: gold and black

Pirates' team colors: black and gold

What Topps thinks are the Pirates' team colors: Black and Gold

Red finishes a distant fourth.

(The tally: Gold-19, Black-14, Yellow-9, Red-8, Gray-5, Orange-4, Pink-4, Purple-4, Blue-3, Light Blue-3, Green-2).


  1. The simple explanation...the city of Pittsburgh's flag is black and gold. The Pirates adopted the color to match. The Steelers did the same. The Penguins did it later on so that all the teams in the city would be the same, although they have changed the gold to what they call "Vegas" gold. I don't even know what that means but they say it on broadcasts of games all the time.

  2. Owl,

    For 1966, 68, and 69 you'd have to say the color was magenta, not pink. Pink was the color Topps used for the Expos and Royals in 1969.

  3. I love watching baseball on tv from PNC park. The grass, and the pedestrian bridges over the river, along with being right beside the confluence.... beautiful.

  4. I've been to PNC a few times and it is spectacular. Just an absolutely beautiful park. The baseball? Not always so pretty.

    While reading over your colors listings, I suddenly found I had Pearl Jam's "Black, Red, Yellow" in my head. Too bad that song was about Dennis Rodman's hair and not the Buccos.

    Good luck tonight. Obviously I'm hoping the Bucs pull off the win to get back to .500 overall and even the season series with your boys until September 15 when we meet again on your turf.