The 2021 Pittsburgh Pirates will not go down in the record books as one of the most recognizable and memorable teams in franchise history, more likely the opposite, but still delivered numerous significant moments.
Every season is unique in its own way and shines a few positive lights into even a dark year for players and organizations.
Before the 2022 season begins and a new CBA agreement is reached, Bucs Dugout looks back on the 2021 campaign and the top moments throughout the year.
July 13: Bryan Reynolds and Adam Frazier represent Pittsburgh at the All-Star Game
Heading into the All-Star break this past season, the Pirates were securely sitting in last place in the NL Central with a record of 34-56. At that point, they were 10 games back of the second to last place Cubs and Cardinals. Being 18 games back of the first-place Brewers, Pittsburgh’s season was over competitively and had been for a while.
That said, the All-Star break brought some excitement for Pirates fans as two players on the squad were set to start in the Mid-Summer Classic. Second baseman Adam Frazier won the fan vote to start at the position. Center fielder Bryan Reynolds was originally selected to the team as a reserve but after Ronald Acuna Jr. tore his ACL earlier that week, Reynolds filled in at his starting spot. So it was, a team with the third-worst record in baseball at the time had two starters in the All-Star game.
Reynolds and Frazier batted eighth and ninth respectively in the lineup. Although Reynolds went 0-2, he did send a long fly ball into the right-center Coors Field gap that Aaron Judge was able to track down. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a video of the said flyout. Meanwhile, Frazier went 1-2 with a classic Frazier-type line drive single into right field.
Doesn't matter the venue. He just hits. pic.twitter.com/e5TtxGcXSF— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) July 14, 2021
Defensively, Frazier also made a pair of nice plays as seen below.
This is why he’s your starting second baseman. pic.twitter.com/Ex4QuNOvMi— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) July 14, 2021
Although Reynolds and Frazier didn’t end up making any game-changing plays, they pulled their weight and certainly belonged. The National League ended up losing 5-2. On a funny side note, the American League has now won eight straight All-Star games. Dating back to 1997, the AL is 20-3-1 against the NL.
As we know, one of Pittsburgh's All-Stars would be traded about two weeks after the game as Frazier was sent to San Diego for some prospects. Sadly for Frazier, he struggled down the stretch with his new team hitting .267/.327/.335 in 211 plate appearances.
Nonetheless, the All-Star Game gave Pirates fans a bit of excitement in an otherwise extremely dull and depressing year. Most of the time, when your team sucks, you get one All-Star representative that barely sees the field if they get to at all. I think back to All-Stars of Pirates past such as Evan Meek or Mike Williams. At least in this game, our lowly Pirates gave us something to cheer for. And for that, it was certainly a highlight of the season.
BD community, it’s your turn to vote! Which moment do you want to see advance? The draft or the All-Star game?
Which of these was your favorite moment?
This poll is closed
The big draft haul
Two Buccos in the Midsummer Classic