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Pirates

Pirates-Reds One Of Baseball’s Most Underrated Rivalries

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(Photo Credit: David Maxwell/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: David Maxwell/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pirates are looking at their first postseason game in 21 years.

Most likely, it’ll be a one-game Wild Card showdown with the Cincinnati Reds.

Where that game will be played will be decided this weekend. It’ll be the latest chapter in one of baseball’s most underrated rivalries.

The baseball teams from Pittsburgh and Cincinnati first started playing each other in 1882. Back then, the Pirates were still called the Alleghenys.

They played in Exposition Park, near the future site of PNC Park.

But it took nearly a century for their rivalry to grow into one of the most intense in Major League Baseball.

Older Pirates’ fans still sting from the deciding Game 5 of the 1972 National League Championship Series.

The Bucs had the lead in the bottom of the ninth, but Johnny Bench led off with a homer, and later, the Bucs’ Bob Moose fell into Pittsburgh sports infamy.

The Pirates finally got their revenge in 1979 with an NLCS sweep.

The “Big Red Machine” is the more celebrated team, but the “Lumber Company” was its equal in the ‘70s.

Both teams won six division titles and two World Series.

The Reds and Pirates last met in the postseason in 1990.

More recently, some big moments have reheated the rivalry.

Michael McKenry driving in the first earned run allowed by Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman, persistent accusations of pitchers throwing at batters, and yes, even that Reds comeback last weekend.

It’s all part of the fabric of one of baseball’s best rivalries.

Now though, it’s time to write the next chapter.

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