Don't change the resolution on your monitor. You just read that correctly. The Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place! This is not the first week of the season. It's the morning of July 19.
After 18 consecutive seasons where the Pittsburgh Pirates finished the year with a losing record, they are on pace not only to finish with a winning record, but to also win the National League Central Division for the first time. Back in 1992, things were looking great for the Pirates. They finished with a record of 96-66, which won them the National League East Division. However, for the third straight year, they lost the 1992 NLCS to the Atlanta Braves in one of the greatest playoff series of all-time.
Beginning in 1993, the demise of the Pirates began. Between losing top players to free agency (Barry Bonds) and making one sided trades (Aramis Ramirez), the Pirates have been the joke of the baseball world. Things have now changed. The big reason this team is currently in first place is their pitching staff. According to ESPN, the Pirates are ranked 8th in total pitching in MLB.
For the city of Pittsburgh, it's great to see the Pirates contend once again and give the fans something to root for besides football and hockey, especially during the summer where sports are inexistent. In recent years, the Penguins have won the Stanley Cup and the Steelers have won multiple Super Bowls. This is great for the fans, but the Pirates are the oldest team in the city of Pittsburgh. Since 1883, the Pirates have made Pittsburgh their home. Generations upon generations grew up watching this team. From Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell, Barry Bonds, Andy Van Slyke, Jason Kendall, and Brian Giles, this team has had a rich history.