I thought about the next time I might see a former Pirate in Cooperstown. Bonds, if he eventually gets in. But he left Pittsburgh when I was 4 years old. Possibly McCutchen if he can continue to string together strong seasons through his 30's, but he doesn't rack up enough hits or homers to have a chance at any major milestones.
And then it hit me. I haven't seen a single Hall of Famer play in black and gold on a baseball field. Don't get me wrong. I've gotten to see an embarrassment of riches play in Pittsburgh. They've just always done it on ice or a football field.
The last time a Hall of Famer suited up in a major league game for the Pittsburgh Pirates was October 3rd, 1982. Willie Stargell had a pinch hit in the Pirates final game of the season.
Whether it's a future Hall of Famer like Ichiro eeking out a few more seasons in Miami or a hired gun like John Smoltz hoping to put a playoff contender over the top, it seems like every team but the Bucs has seen a Hall of Famer in recent years.
So I did some digging.
And I was right. The Pirates have the longest streak in the majors since a Hall of Fame player suited up in uniform for them. And it's not even close. Second place is a tie between the Royals, who last had George Brett in 1993 and the Rockies, who have haven't ever had a Hall of Famer play for them (though Larry Walker may change that in the next couple years).