Mt Lebanon Magazine

710 Washington Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15228

Mt Lebanon Magazine

The official magazine of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania

The Perils of a Patient Pirates Fan

Opening Day 2022

 

Opening Day 2023
Opening Day 2019

It’s not easy being a Pirates fan.

People often roll their eyes in disbelief at my loyalty to the team over the years.

Yes, the team is coming off a 76-86 record and fourth-place finish in the NL Central. Yes, the team hasn’t finished over .500 since 2018 and hasn’t won a game in the postseason since 2013, which happened to be their first postseason win since 1992. But, as anyone who attended that National League Wild Card thriller against the Cincinnati Reds will attest, it was exhilarating. From the moment you walked into PNC Park, you could just feel the electricity.

Hope sprang eternal after that victory, but that’s not where my fanship, defined as devotion to something, began.

My enthusiasm for the Pittsburgh Pirates apparently started very early, as witnessed by an old black-and-white photo of two-year-old me sitting on my porch, donning a Pirates helmet the year the team won the 1960 World Series; only to be accelerated by my Brush With Greatness when I met Pirates legend Roberto Clemente when I was 13.

Me, age 2, the year the Pirates won the 1960 World Series.

Fast forward to my career as a TV news producer, when I got the chance to interview John Candelaria, Nellie Briles, Dave Giusti and Pirates broadcaster Nellie King in the Pirates offices at Three Rivers Stadium for a story on the 1971 World Series championship. If only young me could see me then!

Me with (L-R) John Candelaria, Nellie Briles, Dave Giusti and Nellie King.

As I head to yet another Pirates home opener, maybe it’s the eternal optimist in me that’s excited by the team’s 5-0 record out of the gate for the first time in 41 years, while averaging nearly 8 runs per game, harkening back to the Lumber Company years of the 1970s. Or, maybe I’m just too patient for my own good!

Comments

  1. Author’s gravatar

    I appreciate your loyalty and dedication! I am the same way! I was born a year after 1960 series and have been a loyal fan all these years!
    Beat Em Bucs!

  2. Author’s gravatar

    Carrie, I identify with your story — we’re the same age and I learned to say “Beat ‘Em Bucs” while watching the 1960 World Series with my parents (so I’m told)! Never give up on them!!

  3. Author’s gravatar

    Grew up in Mt. Lebanon, born in ’59. I too as a kid would try and make it to as many Home Openers as possible. I skipped school one year with my next-door neighbor, we took the trolley downtown and walked across the bridge to 3 Rivers Stadium. I think I was about 13 or 14. (Yes, a safer and simpler time.) We arrived early and were trying to collect Pirate player’s autographs with some success. It was a grand day.
    Imagine my surprise though when a couple of days later one of my Dad’s Co-workers brought a Suburban Newspaper to work with “Opener Pictures’ on the cover. Lo and behold they had taken pictures of kids hanging over the railings asking for autographs. He tells my Father, ” Isn’t that your son? ” – Nailed. LOL

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