Richard “Pete” Peterson is the author and editor of several baseball books, including The Pirates Reader, Growing Up With Clemente, Pops: The Willie Stargell Story, and Extra Innings: Writing on Baseball. He is coeditor (with David Shribman) of 50 Great Moments in Pittsburgh Sports. A Pittsburgh native, Peterson is professor emeritus of English at Southern Illinois University.
In the deciding game of the 1992 National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves, the Pittsburgh Pirates suffered the most dramatic and devastating loss in team history when former Pirate Sid Bream slid home with the winning run. Bream’s infamous slide ended the last game played by Barry Bonds in a Pirates uniform and sent the franchise reeling into a record twenty-season losing streak. The Slide tells the story of the myriad events, beginning with the aftermath of the 1979 World Series, which led to the fated 1992 championship game and beyond. It describes the city’s near loss of the team in 1985 and the major influence of Syd Thrift and Jim Leyland in developing a dysfunctional team into a division champion. The book gives detailed accounts of the 1990, 1991, and 1992 division championship seasons, the critical role played by Kevin McClatchy in saving the franchise in 1996, and summarizes the twenty losing seasons before the Pirates finally broke the curse of “the slide” in 2013, with their first playoff appearance since 1992.
Whether winning world championships or falling into last place, fielding teams with Hall of Fame players or trotting out bumbling boys of summer, the Pittsburgh Pirates have thrilled, frustrated, and fascinated generations of fans since 1876.
To date, the Pirates have won five World Series and have a total of thirty-six players and managers in the Hall of Fame-including Honus Wagner, Pie Traynor, Lloyd and Paul Waner, Ralph Kiner, Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, and Bill Mazeroski.
The Pirates Reader is a tribute to the fans, players, and teams who have forged the franchise's rich history. Richard Peterson has collected the writing of baseball's greatest storytellers and brings to life the players, games, and magical moments for this classic and well-loved team.