New York Mets Vs Pittsburgh Pirates Rivalry

Kevin Smith

pirates vs mets

The storied histories of the New York Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates have intersected over decades, creating a nuanced rivalry that has left an indelible mark on the baseball landscape.

While not as universally recognized as some other matchups, the clashes between these two teams have offered a blend of triumphs and heartaches, moments of brilliance and resilience.

From their earliest encounters in the National League to more recent showdowns, this rivalry carries its own unique narrative.

Exploring their shared history sheds light on the evolution of both franchises, the iconic moments that have defined them, and the dedicated fan bases that have passionately fueled this lesser-known yet captivating rivalry.

History: New York Mets Vs Pittsburgh Pirates


  • New York Mets: The Mets were established in 1962 as one of the two National League expansion teams. Their creation was a result of the city’s desire to have another National League team following the departure of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. The team’s colors, blue and orange, were a nod to both the Dodgers and Giants.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates have a much older history, tracing back to their founding in 1881 as part of the American Association. They joined the National League in 1887. The team was initially known as the Alleghenys before adopting the “Pirates” moniker in 1891.


  • New York Mets: The Mets’ most significant achievements include two World Series championships: 1969 and 1986. The 1969 championship, often referred to as the “Miracle Mets” season, marked a stunning turnaround for the team from previous years of struggle.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates have a rich history, winning five World Series titles (1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, 1979).
    The 1960 championship is especially memorable due to Bill Mazeroski’s dramatic walk-off home run in Game 7. The 1979 “We Are Family” Pirates, led by Willie Stargell, also hold a special place in franchise history.

Notable Players

  • New York Mets: The Mets have seen the likes of Tom Seaver, considered one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, along with Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Piazza, and David Wright.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates have had legendary players such as Honus Wagner, who is often regarded as one of the greatest shortstops ever, and Roberto Clemente, an iconic outfielder known for his humanitarian efforts. Other notable Pirates include Willie Stargell and Barry Bonds.

Fanbase: New York Mets Vs Pittsburgh Pirates

New York Mets

The New York Mets boast a devoted fanbase that mirrors the city’s diverse and passionate spirit. From the euphoria of the “Miracle Mets” in 1969 to the exhilarating highs of their 1986 World Series win, fans have displayed unwavering loyalty.

Mets supporters embrace the team’s resilience through ups and downs, creating an electric atmosphere at Citi Field. Their orange and blue colors symbolize a united community, with generations passing on their love for the team.

Mets fans embody New York’s tenacity, making every game a vibrant celebration of baseball’s enduring magic.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ fanbase epitomizes the city’s blue-collar heart and steadfast pride. With a storied history dating back to the late 19th century, Pirates fans cherish their team’s legacy.

Rooting for legendary figures like Roberto Clemente and honoring the “We Are Family” era, they fill PNC Park with an unwavering spirit. Their cheers echo the steel and determination that define Pittsburgh.

Despite periods of challenge, Pirates fans remain dedicated, showcasing a unique bond with their team and a timeless appreciation for the game’s timeless traditions.

Postseason Showdowns and Playoffs

Postseason showdowns between the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates have etched enduring chapters in their rivalry.

From the pivotal 1979 NLCS clash, where the Pirates triumphed, to the intense 2015 NLDS series, their playoff encounters resonate with passion and high-stakes drama.

These moments underscore how the rivalry intensifies under the bright lights of the postseason. The games become more than contests; they are battles that test the mettle of each team and define legacies.

As the Mets and Pirates vie for supremacy in these pressure-packed moments, their postseason matchups encapsulate the essence of competition and the thrill of October baseball.

Iconic Moments: New York Mets Vs Pittsburgh Pirates Rivalry

1979 Nlcs Clash

In the 1979 National League Championship Series, the Pirates faced the Mets for a chance to advance to the World Series.

This hard-fought series showcased the talents of legendary players like Willie Stargell and Dave Parker for the Pirates and Dave Kingman for the Mets.

The Pirates managed to edge out the Mets in a tight series, propelling them to their fifth World Series title.

1986 Slugfest

A memorable series in 1986 featured offensive fireworks between the Mets and Pirates. In a late-June game, the Mets overcame a 6-0 deficit to win 11-7 in a slugfest.

Darryl Strawberry’s grand slam and a three-run homer by Keith Hernandez powered the Mets to an incredible comeback victory.

1990: Back-to-back Extra-inning Dramas

In a two-game series in May 1990, both the Mets and Pirates showcased their resilience in extra-inning battles. The first game went to 12 innings, with the Pirates eventually securing a 5-4 victory.

The next day, the Mets returned the favor by winning 7-6 in 11 innings, highlighting the competitive nature of their matchups.

2006: Dueling Comebacks

In a game in July 2006, the Mets and Pirates engaged in a back-and-forth contest. The Pirates mounted an impressive comeback from a 7-1 deficit to tie the game in the ninth inning.

However, the Mets answered with a walk-off single by Jose Valentin, sealing an 8-7 victory and showcasing the dramatic twists these rivalry games could provide.

2015 Nlds Matchup

While not a regular-season game, the 2015 National League Division Series brought the Mets and Pirates together in the postseason.

The Mets swept the Pirates in the best-of-five series, with memorable moments including Daniel Murphy’s home runs and Noah Syndergaard’s dominant pitching.

2021 Extra-inning Thriller

In a game in April 2021, the Mets and Pirates battled for 12 innings. The Pirates took the lead in the top of the 12th, but the Mets responded with a game-tying RBI single by Michael Conforto.

The Mets eventually secured the win with a walk-off single by Kevin Pillar, showcasing the resilience of both teams in a marathon matchup.

Future Outlook: New York Mets Vs Pittsburgh Pirates

New York Mets

The New York Mets are poised for an intriguing future, bolstered by a blend of young talent and experienced players.

With stars like Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor anchoring the lineup, and a strong pitching rotation led by Jacob deGrom, the Mets have the potential to contend for championships.

Their commitment to investing in the team’s success, along with the leadership of their front office, sets the stage for a competitive run in their division.

As they continue to build on their historic legacy, Mets fans can anticipate exciting seasons and the possibility of adding more championship banners to their collection.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates are navigating a rebuilding phase with a focus on player development and a strategic approach. While recent seasons have presented challenges, the Pirates are nurturing a promising farm system.

Young talents such as Ke’Bryan Hayes are laying the foundation for the team’s resurgence. The organization’s commitment to drafting and developing homegrown talent reflects a long-term vision.

As they build towards sustained success, Pirates fans can look forward to a future where youthful energy and strategic decisions shape the team’s trajectory. Patience and investment in the organization’s prospects offer hope for brighter days ahead.

New York Mets Vs Pittsburgh Pirates Rivalry

1979Oct 12-17Three RiversPirates5-2 (G7)
1986June 17Shea StadiumMets11-7
1990May 9Three RiversPirates5-4 (12)
1990May 10Three RiversMets7-6 (11)
2006July 25PNC ParkMets8-7
2015Oct 9-11PNC Park / CitiMetsSweep
2021Apr 10-11Citi FieldMets3-2 (12)
2022Sep 12-14PNC ParkMetsSweep


When did the rivalry between the New York Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates begin?

The rivalry between the Mets and Pirates dates back to their shared history in the National League, with memorable matchups emerging over the years.

Have the Mets and Pirates faced each other in the postseason?

Yes, they have. Notably, they clashed in the 1979 NLCS and the 2015 NLDS, showcasing their postseason competitiveness.

What are some iconic moments in their rivalry?

Moments like the 1979 NLCS, the 1999 Wild Card Tiebreaker, and dramatic extra-inning games in various years have defined their matchups.

Who are some legendary players associated with this rivalry?

Legends like Willie Stargell for the Pirates and Tom Seaver for the Mets have left their mark in the history of these teams’ clashes.

How do their fan bases contribute to the rivalry?

Both teams boast passionate fan bases that bring unique energy to their matchups, adding to the atmosphere and excitement.

To Recap

The rivalry between the New York Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates, though not as historically prominent as some, holds a tapestry of moments that have woven together the fabric of baseball history.

From dramatic comebacks and iconic postseason clashes to the sheer resilience showcased on the field, these two teams have etched their stories into the annals of the sport.

As they continue to evolve on different trajectories, their paths will cross, and new chapters will be written.

The passionate fanbases of both sides will continue to fuel the fires of competition, creating moments that remind us all of the enduring magic that baseball brings to players and spectators alike.

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Kevin Smith

I am a dedicated learner who is constantly pursuing my dreams in many areas of life. I am a Finance major at the University of Maryland, a professional baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays and the owner of my personal brand, Elevate Baseball. I hope to inspire younger learners of all sports and interests to tirelessly pursue their dreams, whatever that may be. LinkedIn