By The Numbers on Opening Day: Wins, Weather and World Series

It’s finally here, the Pirates home opener. Expect strikes, steals and… snow?

photos by dave dicello


The weather forecast for Friday’s home opener at PNC Park is similar to what Steelers fans would expect in November. According to Accuweather, there will be snow showers and the temperature will be 38 degrees with west-northwest winds of 22 miles-per-hour. The wind chill factor will be 27 degrees (OK, maybe you didn’t want to know that).

Still, some old-fashioned Pittsburgh weather won’t dampen the excitement of the Bucs’ return to PNC Park. Here’s a breakdown of how well Pittsburgh has historically done on opening day:

  • Out of 135 openers, the Pirates are 76-58 (.570)
  • According to the national weather almanac, Pittsburgh’s temperature has averaged around 48 degrees on the Pirates’ opening day
  • The Pirates are 9-10 when the average temperature is 40 or below. The coldest opening day was April 7, 1977 (39 degrees) versus the St. Louis Cardinals (6-12 L), and the hottest was April 9, 1991 (79 degrees) against the Montreal Expos (0-7 L).
  • Pirates have won 12 shutouts in home openers.
  • Pittsburgh is 32-11 in one-run games during opening day (let’s hope this statistic isn’t added to this year)
  • The most runs scored in a home opener was a 14-3 victory over the St. Louis Browns on May 1, 1895. Similarly decisive was a 13-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds on April 14, 1960.
  • This is only the second home opener against the Braves, the first being in 1998. The Pirates’ highest opening day win percentage is versus the Reds, with a record of 22-7 (.759)

One more tidbit, perhaps the most important in our eyes. The temperature for the home openers in 1971 and 1979 was also chilly with the mercury not reaching 40 degrees. Those were also the last two seasons the Pirates won the World Series … just saying.

Categories: The 412