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Beyond the Pirates: A look back at the year 1992

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

It's 2013 and the Pittsburgh Pirates have won at least 82 games for the first time since this guy was their best player:

(Image via USATSI)

That would be Barry Lamar Bonds, winner of his second (at the time) NL MVP. He hit .311/.456/.624 with 34 homers (a career high, then), 103 RBI, 109 runs (then career high) and 39 stolen bases that season, leading the Pirates to the playoffs for the third straight season.

Yes, that was 1992. What else was 1992? Well, at this point, we were gearing up for a George H.W. Bush vs. Bill Clinton presidential election.

And much more. Let's get in our time machine.

The last time the Pirates had a winning season ...

Andrew McCutchen turned six years old during the playoffs. Starling Marte turned four during the playoffs. Gerrit Cole turned two in September.

I know he's not on the Pirates, but this is amazing: Last year's NL Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper was born two days after the Pirates were eliminated from the NLCS.

The Colorado Rockies and (at the time) Florida Marlins had never played a game. They were preparing to join the bigs the following season.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay (at the time) Devil Rays weren't even in planning stages.

The Yankees hadn't made the playoffs in 11 seasons. The Royals were only seven years removed from winning a World Series championship.

How about non-MLB sports? The last time the Pirates had a winning record ...

Michael Jordan only had two championship rings. LeBron James was seven years old. Kevin Durant turned four in late September.

The Jimmie Johnson-era Cowboys hadn't yet won a Super Bowl. John Elway "couldn't win the big one."

Mike Tomlin was a 20-year-old student at William and Mary.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were fresh off back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.

Mario Lemieux turned 27 the day before the Pirates began the NLCS against the Braves.

Alabama entered the college football season without a national title since Bear Bryant retired.

Kentucky hadn't won an NCAA basketball championship since 1978.

•The Summer (Barcelona) and Winter (Albertville/French Alps) Olympics still were both held in the same year. In fact, this happened in 1992:

Dan vs. Dave!

And how about a look at the world around us: The last time the Pirates had a winning record ...

The average gallon of gas in the United States cost $1.05.

The Rodney King trials/riots in Los Angeles took place in 1992.

The top five grossing movies for the year were Aladdin, Home Alone 2, Batman Returns, Lethal Weapon 3 and A Few Good Men. Unforgiven would win best picture for the year (obviously awarded in '93 -- the best picture winner at the 1992 Oscars was The Silence of the Lambs).

"End of the Road" by Boyz II Men set a record for the longest-running single atop the Billboard chart ever at 13 weeks. The record wouldn't even last a year, though, as "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston broke it.

•The year as a whole had a variety of timeless number one hits for one reason or another -- some humorous -- like: "Jump" by Kris Kross, "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot, "I'm Too Sexy," by Right Said Fred, Michael Jackson's "Black or White" and "To Be With You" by Mr. Big among several others (Madonna, Mariah Carey, etc.).

Grunge truly arrived in mainstream as Nirvana's "Nevermind" was the top album.

Some of the top rated TV shows were Roseanne, Murphy Brown, Cheers, Home Improvement, Designing Women, Coach, Full House and Murder, She Wrote.

The Simpsons began its fourth season. So did Seinfeld.

The Cartoon Network launched.

Jay Leno took over as host of The Tonight Show while David Letterman still hadn't debuted with CBS.

MTV's "The Real World" debuted, launching the modern genre of reality TV.

•Microsoft released Windows 3.1.

Compact discs replaced cassette tapes as the most sold medium when it came to recorded music.

•CBSSports.com was still two years away from being founded as SportsLineUSA.

So, yeah, it's been a while.

Congrats, Pittsburgh.

 
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