After founding the Pirates in 1933, Art Rooney watched his club struggle through its first seven seasons with just 22 wins and five different head coaches. While home games were played at Forbes Field, Rooney often took his team to such cities as Johnstown, Latrobe, Youngstown, New Orleans, and Louisville in the 1930s due to competition with baseball and college football.
In 1938 Rooney signed Colorado All-America Byron “Whizzer” White to a $15,800 contract, making White the first “big money” player in the NFL. White led the league in rushing that year and became one of the NFL’s most illustrious alumni. He served 31 years as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court before retiring in 1993.