Guide to Pittsburgh Sports Teams

Pittsburgh has historically been a blue-collar town, home to thousands of hard-working individuals who spent their lives working in factories, mines, and steel mills. This blue-collar work ethic can easily been seen in all of the city’s professional sports teams. This unique flavor sets Pittsburgh apart from most other American cities, resulting in a sporting history filled with passion, pride, and tradition.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, five-time World Series Champions, have been playing ball here since the 19th century. Even though great ballplayers such as Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, and Honus Wagner have worn the Pirates uniform, Pittsburgh remains a city still waiting to earn respect. The Pirates are perennial underdogs, lacking the high-profile clout of the Boston Red Sox or the enormous payroll of the New York Yankees. Yet, the Pirates have an equally long and distinguished history. Year after year they continue to play ball, always out of the spotlight. It is the epitome of blue-collar work ethic, and this fact alone makes them a team worth rooting for.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are the most popular of the city’s sports teams, winning over fans all across America. Their battles with AFC rivals such as the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens are legendary, a must-see for football fans all over the world. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest and winningest franchise in the AFC, and one of the most popular teams in the entire NFL. Gridiron heroes such as Terry Bradshaw, “Mean” Joe Greene, Franco Harris, and Lynn Swann have made the Steelers fan favorites; a tradition that continues this day with present-day stars like Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Pulamalu.

Hockey is another sport with a great history in Pittsburgh. Since 1967, the Penguins have been playing a gritty, blue-collar brand of ice hockey, winning two Stanley Cups along the way. However, professional hockey in Pittsburgh dates back to the 1900’s, with a hockey team known as the Yellow Jackets, and in the 1920’s with a hockey franchise known as the Pirates. The Pittsburgh Penguins have boasted some of the game’s most prolific players over the years, such as Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, and Ron Francis. Penguins fans of today also have many reasons to rejoice, thanks to current superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

With all of the talent, past and present, Pittsburgh endures as a great American sports city. Pittsburgh sports teams reflect a certain brand of passion and humility, which is all but lost in today’s era of professional sports. Lacking the national spotlight and enormous payrolls of other cities, Pittsburgh is a throwback to the days when sports were all about hard-fough battles on the gridiron, ice, and diamond.