90 wins

In baseball's modern era (marked by the rise of the American League and the solidifying of the rules in 1901), the Pittsburgh Pirates have won at least 90 games in the following seasons: 1901, 1902, 1903, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1912, 1921, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1944, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1990, 1991, 1992, and 2013. 

Here's one thing I love about this: with the exception of 1944 (which was a war year and thus a bit of an outlier), I can look at any year on this list and tell you who the best players on any one of those given Pirate teams was (1921 is the trickiest of the group because Kiki Cuyler and Pie Traynor were both on the team, but young and not really contributors — still Max Carey was the team's most valuable position player). The Pirates have a long and storied history, and these teams represent approximately the top fifth of all Pirate teams in history. For the longest time, it felt like the great moments in Pirate history were things that happened to other people. That those of us living in the present and grasping to fading memories of the early 1990s were doomed to exist on stories and legends while the Pirates that we called "our" Pirates were a terrible substitute for the Pirates of the past. This Pirate team obviously has plenty to prove, but that's fine for now. After the last 20 years, even putting an outlier on this list would feel awfully good. 

But here's the second thing I love about this list: with the exception of 1944, the entries on this list come in bunches.

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.

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