Recent Posts

1925, A Significant Year in Pittsburgh Sports

It may have been 93 years ago, but the year 1925 was quite important in Pittsburgh sports history.

When most Pittsburghers think of the greatest years in the illustrious history of Pittsburgh sports a few come to mind. Fans who grew up in the 1970s might point to 1979 when the Pirates captured the World Series title and the Steelers won Super Bowl XIV and the moniker of ?City of Champions ? was born. Younger fans might think back to 2009. It was during this special year that the Penguins captured the third Stanley Cup championship in franchise history and the Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII, the franchise ?s sixth title.

While these years were certainly ones to remember when it comes to black and gold success, there is another significant year in the history of Pittsburgh sports that often goes overlooked. The year was 1925. The Steelers were eight years away from playing their inaugural game, the Penguins were still 42 years from taking the ice for their first season, but there was plenty of sports buzz around town.

In 1925 the Pirates were playing to large crowds at Forbes Field on their way to a 95-58 record and the National League title. The team was led by three future Hall of Famers — Pie Traynor, Max Carey, and Kiki Cuyler. The Pirates pleased the home fans, posting an impressive 52-25 home record. In the World Series they faced the Washington Senators (current day Minnesota Twins). The series was one for the ages. The Pirates captured the first game, but quickly found themselves down three games to one in the series, including being shutout 4-0 in game four.

However, the resilient Pirates rallied behind their manager Bill McKechnie and won games five, six and seven to capture the title. Game 7 began with the Pirates allowing four runs in the first inning and having to battle from behind the entire game before scoring three runs in the bottom of the eighth to pull ahead 9-7 to win the franchise ?s second World Series title. Amazingly, in the Pirates ? four wins they scored runs in the seventh inning or later three times.

Pitcher Ray Kremer was the pitcher of record for the Pirates in Game 3, Game 6, and Game 7. Kremer threw complete games in both Game 3 and Game 6 and was then brought back for four innings of relief in Game 7 to earn the win. When it comes to great moments at Forbes Field many think of the famous culmination of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, but the Game 7 finish of the 1925 World Series was equally as thrilling for the hometown fans.

Another significant event happened in the Oakland section of town in the fall of 1925; Pittsburgh hosted its first NHL game. That ?s right, decades before the Penguins joined the NHL in 1967, the Pirates skated in the Duquesne Gardens in Oakland in the late 1920s. During their inaugural season in 1925 the team played 36 games, posting an impressive 19-16-1 record, good for third best in the league. That record earned the team a playoff berth, but they were quickly eliminated in a best-of-three, semi-final Stanley Cup playoff series by the Montreal Maroons. The Maroons won in two straight games at the Duquesne Gardens and then went on to defeat the Victoria Cougars of the Western Canada Hockey League to capture the Stanley Cup.

While the Pirates ice hockey team only lasted five seasons in Pittsburgh before relocating to Philadelphia for the 1930-31 season, they did have a lasting legacy. During the 1979-80 season the Penguins requested to change their colors from blue and white to black and gold to capitalize off the success of the Pirates and the Steelers who, as mentioned above, had won championships in 1979. The Bruins protested the change saying that black and gold were colors exclusive to their franchise. However, the Penguins appealed citing that the Pirates hockey team had worn black and gold during their time in the NHL in the late 1920s. The NHL agreed and allowed the Penguins to make the switch.

While baseball and hockey were the talk of the town in 1925, there was also a buzz on campus at the University of Pittsburgh because the school ?s football team was having a successful season of its own. 1925 was the team ?s inaugural season at legendary Pitt Stadium. The team finished with an 8-1 record that included wins over Penn State and West Virginia.

The year was 1925, a gallon of milk cost $0.56, a loaf of bread cost $0.09, and the number one song in the country was ?Sweet Georgia Brown ? by Ben Bernie. It was the middle of the Roaring Twenties and Pittsburgh ?s sports scene was soaring.

Professional sports writer, fluent in sarcasm and other humorous arts. Bachelor and Master degrees from Duquesne University. Member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. Have previously written for many outlets, including the AP, Sports Xchange, PA SportsTicker, etc. Regularly appear as a guest on local sports radio. Expert at Name That Tune and proficient in many other areas of useless knowledge.

3 Comments on 1925, A Significant Year in Pittsburgh Sports

  1. Actually, the ’25 Senators were the original Senators, who are now the Twins. And, no, I wasn’t there.

    • Vince Comunale // August 30, 2018 at 9:30 AM // Reply

      You’re right, I forgot how many times Washington lost their franchise. In 1961 the original Senators moved to become the Twins and then in 1972 the “new” Senators moved to become the Rangers.

  2. 2009 was the Steelers 6th title, but maybe really only 5th since the one against Seattle was handed to them by the refs, LOL.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.