The Pittsburgh Pirates are technically stumbling to their first postseason since 1992. The Pirates needed their 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 23 to avoid falling into the second wild card spot, and to keep any hopes alive of winning the NL Central. But despite losing first place this month and losing a big series to the Cincinnati Reds at home this past weekend, Pittsburgh is just relieved to reach the postseason and end an embarrassing drought.
Before clinching no worse than a wild card spot, the Pirates had the second longest postseason drought in all the four major sports. Yet whether they play in next week’s wild card game or go right to Game 1 of the NLDS, the Pirates will play at least one playoff game for the first time since 1992.
Pittsburgh’s last trip to the postseason ended when it failed to throw out Sid Breem at home in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS. On the other hand, the 2013 Pirates clinched their berth when Andrew McCutchen -- the centerpiece of their renaissance -- started a relay throw that got Nate Schierholtz out at home to prevent the tying run.
That one play officially ended 21 years of misery and short seasons in Pittsburgh -- but other franchises are still waiting years and decades for such a moment. Here is the updated list of teams with the longest playoff droughts in the four major sports.