The Pittsburgh Pirates were 51-44 on July 20th, and it seemed for the first time in nearly two decades that they actually had a team that knew how to win. The pirates were in first place in the NL Central by a game and amazed many baseball fans both in the state of Pennsylvania and all over the country.

It may seem unusual to be amazed by a team who is leading their division just past the all star break, but let's face it these are the Pittsburgh Pirates. They haven't had a winning season in 19 years!

It has been quite some time since the pirates had a team that was worthy of following throughout a whole season. Pirates fans know that their team is usually done by early June. The days of a young pre steroids Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, and manager Jim Leyland are long gone.

It was 1992 when the Pirates lost to the Braves in the 7th game of the NLCS when they last had a winning season. If it wasn't for the Braves unknown hero, Francisco Cabrera, driving in the winning runs with a a two-run single that scored David Justice and Sid Bream the Pirates would have gone to the world series. After that loss pirates fans were heartbroken but had to figure that their team would be contending in the years to come considering how good they had been for the past few seasons. Things have headed completely south for the pirates since 1992. In 1993 Barry Bonds signed with the Giants and manager Jim Leyland left the team in 1996.

It is hard to believe that the Pirates haven't had a winning season for 19 years now! That is the longest time for any team in any professional sport to go with a season finishing above .500! I can only imagine how many pirates fans weren't even alive the last time the team finished with a winning record.

I really don't feel that bad for pirates fans, luckily for you the Steelers are one of the NFL's elite franchises, competing for a super bowl virtually every season. This surely makes up for the sad franchise that the pirates have become.

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