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By Tom Fitton
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Steve Blass
Seven new All-Stars and still no Yasiel Puig.
The last time the Pittsburgh Pirates had five All-Stars, there was no designated hitter, baseballs were made of horsehide and the major leagues had 24 teams.
Joe L. Brown, the general manager whose shrewd trading and expert rebuilding of the Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system resulted in two World Series championships, died after an extended illness. He was 91.
"He came over and said, 'You know you're done.'
"To put it quite simply, he was one of the classiest guys that I ever ran across in the game," said Blass, who pitched the Pirates to a Game 7 victory over Baltimore in the 1971 World Series. "Straight up, straight-on honest with you, a very good judge of talent. ... I was not a big bonus baby, I was not a big prospect. But he cared about me from day one, and that never ended."