Three Rivers Stadium
Three Rivers Stadium was home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Steelers for 30 years. Three Rivers Stadium opened its door on July 16, 1970. Three Rivers Stadium is the Place where Barry Bonds made his MLB debut on May 30th, 1986. He went 0-5 in the game in which the Pirates fell to the Dodgers 4-6. Bonds would spend all of his career years with the Pirates playing at Three Rivers. Bonds spent the first seven seasons of his career in Pittsburgh and helped the Pirates win the National League East in 1990, ’91 and ’92. The team lost in the National League Championship Series each of those years. After the 1992 season, which was the last winning season Pittsburgh had before 2013, Bonds joined the San Francisco Giants for the last 15 years of his career. Bonds ranks ninth on the club’s all-time list with 50.3 wins above replacement, according to Baseball-Reference. That puts him above Ralph Kiner (44.7), Bill Mazeroski (36.5) and Pie Traynor (36.3), all of whom have had their numbers retired. It also brings him within shouting distance of Willie Stargell, who posted just 57.5 WAR despite playing 14 more seasons here than Bonds did.
Backstory and Context
Three Rivers Stadium was the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers during four championship seasons between 1975 and 1980. Steeler legends from Franco Harris to the Jerome Bettis graced Three Rivers Stadium on Sunday afternoons during these years. The Pittsburgh Pirates also won championships while playing at Three Rivers, with Roberto Clemente leading the team to a World Series title in 1971 and Willie Stargell leading the team to a second championship in 1979. These six championships in the late 1970s led to Pittsburgh being hailed the "city of champions."
On December 16, 2000 Three Rivers Stadiums closed its doors for good. In February 2001 Three Rivers was demolished. The site where Three Rivers once stood is now a parking lot for PNC Park and Heinz Field located midway between. The current homes of the Pirates and the Steelers.
Three Rivers Stadium is the Place where Barry Bonds made his MLB debut on May 30th, 1986. He went 0-5 in the game in which the Pirates fell to the Dodgers 4-6. Bonds would spend all of his career years with the Pirates playing at Three Rivers. Bonds went on to have a great career with the Pirates. Bonds was a 4 time All-Star with the Pirates. Bonds called Leyland the "best manager I could have ever had starting out my career" and thanked Virdon for turning him into an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner. Bonds hit 176 of his 762 home runs and won two of his seven National League MVP Awards with the Pirates before signing as a free agent with the Giants. Before he became the Barry Bonds fans know and hate, he was the Barry Bonds fans didn't know very well but still could have hated.
The Pittsburgh Pirates won the Eastern Division title in 1990, 1991 and 1992. Neither the Pirates nor Bonds fared well once the playoffs started. They failed to get to the World Series each time. Bonds felt that this was not his fault. The Cincinnati Reds beat the Pirates in six games in the 1991 NLCS and the Atlanta Braves beat them in 1991 and 1992, each time in seven games. Bonds didn't exactly excel in the playoffs.
In 1990, Bonds batted .167 and slugged .167. He managed three singles in 18 at-bats.
In 1991, Bonds batted .148 and slugged .185. He hit three singles and a double in 27 at-bats.
In 1992, he almost doubled his batting average, hitting .261 with six hits in 23 at-bats, including a double and a home run.
Biography.com Editors. Barry Bonds Biography, April 2nd 2014. Accessed November 20th 2019. https://www.biography.com/athlete/barry-bonds.
Greene, Nelson. Three Rivers Stadium (Pittsburgh), SABR. Accessed November 20th 2019. https://sabr.org/bioproj/park/three-rivers-stadium.
Three Rivers Stadium, Stadiums of Pro Football. Accessed November 20th 2019. https://www.stadiumsofprofootball.com/stadiums/three-rivers-stadium/.
Bitner, Adam . Should the Pirates retire Barry Bonds' jersey?, Accessed November 24th 2019. https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/pirates/2018/08/09/barry-bonds-jersey-retirement-giants-pirates-andrew-mccutchen-trade/stories/201808100011.