Today we will be looking at the 2015 Pirates Yearbook, but first I want to tell some of personal interactions with yearbooks..
I remember when I was younger I could go to the Vet (Veterans Stadium, home of the Philadelphia Phillies) and buy full size batting helmets (with no ear flaps) for any of the teams and even yearbooks for any of the teams. I know this because I had all 28 helmets represented hanging across the top of my bedroom walls. The Devil Rays and Diamondbacks weren't in the league yet, but I had the Marlins and Rockies.
In addition to being able to buy helmets of any team there were also many other licensed products available at the souvenir shops inside the stadium. I bought the inaugural Marlins yearbook (with a very young Trevor Hoffman in it), White Sox yearbook, and Rockies yearbook. I know the Phillies were a pretty bad team for a decade until their magical 1993 season, but why were the vendors selling other teams products?
I stopped watching baseball after the 1994 strike and hadn't attended a baseball game in person until 2005. I did attend a baseball game with a female friend of the family in 1997, but all we did was avoid watching any baseball (I was 16 and don't need to explain any further details).
That 2005 game reunited my love for the Pirates (specifically a fan of Ryan Doumit), but there was NO Pirates merchandise to be found inside the stadium. It was nothing but Phillies merchandise.
When did this change happen?
Were other teams selling merchandise of other teams in the late 80s/early 90s?
Well, after 2009 I began making the Pirates my favorite thing to collect and I started to add a Yearbook and/or Media Guide to every trip I made out to Pittsburgh.
I got the 2015 Yearbook when I attended the home opener in person against an interleague matchup vs the Detroit Tigers.
I decided to flip through it and thought it would be fun (and heart breaking) to see how much the organization has changed in only 5 seasons since the 2015 season ended.
It's Been Only 5!!!! ?????
On the cover we have one of the best players in baseball, Andrew McCutchen, who had just come off his 3rd straight top 3 MVP award votes along with the 2013 NL Comeback Player of the Year, Francisco Liriano, and the local Pittsbugh native, Neil Walker.
Open up the cover and you get two more images of the former MVP, Andrew McCutchen
There is also a table of contents, which I will get into a bit later
There is a copy of the yeam's schedule along with seating information for purchasing tickets.
There is information about the Pirates ties to the military and how they wore home camo jerseys to support the troops.
(He would also be traded following the season)
There is a deep look at the Pirates top 10 prospects in 2015. The Pirates top prospect in 2015 was Tyler Glasnow, who was a top 15 prospect in baseball.
Of the four listed above, only Taillon is still with the organization as both Meadows and Glasnow were traded for Chris Archer in 2018. Bell was traded less than a month ago to the Washington Nationals for a pair of pitching prospects.
I had a lot of fun going through this yearbook again as it brought back A TON of excitement and enjoyment from the 2015 season and thinking for the future.
Only Gregory Polanco remains on the 25 man roster from the 2015 team that won 98 games.
I would consider getting a second copy to cut out and frame some of the images in the book.
Have you ever removed pages from a Yearbook to hang up?
Do you collect old team yearbooks?
Are you happy with your team's current status from where they were 5 seasons ago?