... city of champions
Having grown up in a major league sports town means never having to leave home. Whenever one of the Pirate, Steeler, or Penguin games is on the television, home is right there in the living room. There's always a shot of the golden triangle where the three rivers - the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio - meet . When the game is at night, it is a beautiful site.
Pittsburgh is known as the City of Champions, but it was not always that way. The Pittsburgh Pirates won three National League titles from 1901 to 1903, playing in the very first World Series in 1903 and winning their first World Series in 1909 followed by World Series wins in 1925 and 1927. Following 1927, the long drought began until the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates season - the team's 79th. The Pirates finished with a record of 95-59, seven games in front of the second-place Milwaukee Braves to win their first National League championship in 33 seasons. The team went on to play the heavily-favored New York Yankees, whom they defeated 4 games to 3 in one of the most storied World Series of all time.
In the seven games, the Bronx Bombers outscored the Pirates 55-27 in this Series. No one thought the Pirates could win - even when they took the storied Yankees to seven games. Until that fall day - October 13, 1960. Ralph Terry. Bill Mazeroski. Bottom of the ninth. Score tied 9-9. A 1-0 pitch that stayed too high. A swing of the bat that was timed just right. Years later, baseball still marvels at the enormity of the moment, and the upset it signaled. Mazeroski was one of the great fielders of all time, yet he'll always be remembered for one wondrous wave of the bat. Mazeroski's home run off the New York Yankees' Terry - still the only homer to end a Game 7 of the World Series and considered the greatest home run ever - is regarded with reverence by fans who reunite every Oct. 13 at the spot it happened. The City of Champions was born with Maz's home run.
The was no Steeler Nation before the 1970'S. The Steelers were founded as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933, by Art Rooney, taking its original name from the baseball team of the same name, as was common practice for NFL teams to do at the time. Prior to the 1940 season, the Pirates renamed themselves the Steelers. The Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC. The Steelers made the playoffs for the first time in 1947, tying for first place in the division at 8-4 with the Philadelphia Eagles. This forced a tie-breaking playoff game at Pittsburgh's Forbes Field, which the Steelers lost 21-0.
The Steelers' history of bad luck changed with the hiring of coach Chuck Noll for the 1969 season. Noll's most remarkable talent was in his draft selection. The Pittsburgh Steelers' 1974 draft was their best ever, and no other team has ever drafted four future Hall of Famers in one year, and only very few (including the 1970 Steelers) have drafted two or more in one year.
The Immaculate Reception (the NFL will not allow embedding their footage), the nickname given to one of the most famous plays in the history of football and chosen by NFL Films as the greatest play of all time, as well as the most controversial, was a turning point for the Steelers. 1972 was the team's 40th year in the league, during which they had finished above .500 only nine times, and until then had never won a playoff game. As a result of the Immaculate Reception, the Steelers reversed four decades of futility with this first playoff win, and went on to win four Super Bowls by the end of the decade becoming the only team in NFL history to win four Super Bowls in six years, as well as the first to win more than two.
The Steelers have a tradition of having a large fanbase known as Steeler Nation which has spread from Pittsburgh. In August 2008, ESPN.com ranked the Steelers' fans as the best in the NFL. The Steelers have sold out every home game since the 1972 season. The team gained this large fan base nationally because of its success in the 1970s, but many consider the collapse of the city's steel industry at the end of the '70s dynasty into the 1980s and the resulting exodus from their City of Champions to be a large catalyst for the size of the Steeler Nation in other cities.
The Pittsburgh Penguins were founded in 1967 as one of the first expansion teams during the league's original expansion from six to twelve teams. Their nickname, Penguins, was inspired by the fact that the team was to play in the Igloo, the nickname of the Pittsburgh Civic Arena where they played until 2010. Home for the Penguins is now the PPG Paints Arena. Many great games and plays have occurred through the years. Most notably, Mario Lemieux scoring five goals five different ways, which he did on December 31, 1988 and which is officially the greatest moment in NHL history.
They first reached the playoffs in 1970 and again in 1972 and nearly reached the Stanley Cup semifinals in 1975. Since then, they have won the Stanley Cup five times in their history - in 1991, 1992, 2009, 2016, and 2017. During the 1984 season, they a conscious decision was made to finish the season as the team with the worst record so that they could draft Mario Lemieux, one of the most highly touted NHL draft picks in history. Lemieux paid dividends right away, scoring on the first shot of his first shift in his first NHL game. However, the team spent four more years out of the playoffs after his arrival. Strengthening their roster and giving Lemieux greater support in the 1990 offseason resulted in the Penguins first Stanley Cup in 1991. They repeated as Stanley Cup champions in 1991-92. 2006 to the present is considered the Crosby-Malkin Era which has culminated in winning the Cup three times in 2009, 2016, and 2017.