Yes, I’m old enough to remember Willie Stargel and the “WE ARE FAMILY” Pirates of 1979, I remember cheering for them in my little footie pajamas for really no good reason, maybe it was the uniforms. Being a lifelong Yankees fan, why not have a National League team to root for. The last time the Pirates were any good it was 1992, I actually attended a NLCS playoff game that year at Three Rivers after shooting a Penn State game in the afternoon. I was annoyed that Francisco Cabrera tore the hearts of the Pirate fans in Game seven and kept the Pirates out of the World Series.
So, It’s been 20+ years and since anything good happened, and with the exception of going to one of the best ballparks in the country, why would anyone care about this team. I shot a couple of games about 5 or 6 years ago, just to see the ballpark. It truly is spectacular. You could just sit in the upper deck and look at the skyline and the Roberto Clemente Bridge and be mesmerized. I’ve been planning a trip back there over the last few years and for whatever the reason, it never happened. I was committed on going this year and as luck would have it found myself working at the first big series the Pirates have had in over two decades, they were facing the Cardinals for a five game series with first place on the line as August was approaching. It ended up being a great couple of days, the weather was perfect, the place was electric and the Pirates won the 3 games that I worked.
I seldom root for teams anymore; I actually root for opportunities now. I could picture how great of a scene this magnificent ballpark with this fun little team would be like on a chilly October night on the confluences of the Alleghany, Monongahela and the Ohio Rivers. How great of a word is confluence by the way.
We have a couple of months to go and anything can happen, but for the now, Pittsburgh has the best record in the Majors and I’ll be secretly cheering on the Buccos for a playoff run which I would be thrilled to be part of.