It seems as if from a time immemorial my beloved Pittsburgh Pirates have been marginalized to somewhere between the Kansas City Royals and the Rockford Peaches. And, maybe there is no crying in baseball. I think “in” is probably the most important word in our previous sentence, because 20 years, 11 months, 3 weeks, and give or take a few minutes their were tears in a young mans eyes in North Hills of Pittsburgh. And, once again Monday night for completely different reasons those tears creeped back out of those ducts. As I watched the replay of the on the field, post win celebration in Chicago, followed by the champagne showers after Adam LaRoche popped up to short for the Washington Nationals, assuring the Pittsburgh Pirates of their first post season appearance in 21 years, a few little tears of joy, relief, and fear rolled down my cheek.
Entering my house after a long day at work Monday, just an hour or so before the game between the Cubs and Pirates began, I noticed a very long awaited FedEx Express envelope. Inside were my playoff tickets…lots of them…so many of them. 4 seats, 12 tickets per each seat, including the possible tiebreaker game, the Wild Card game, 3 NLDS tickets, 4 NLCS tickets, and 3 World Series tickets. I also purchased 4 extra tickets for the Wildcard game and 2 extra seats for each of the NLDS. 58 tickets in all. This was math, expensive, expensive math.
I have been a season ticket holder since the All Star year and since 2006 have seen some true and fantastical things. For the last 5 years I have called section 26 my home. This section is also home to a true Pittsburgh Pirates legend, Phil Coyne. My 95 year old usher is one of my favorite things about PNC Park, baseball, the Pirates Baseball Club, and just being a human. Here’s a little human interest piece that WTAE did about Phil in July. As a note, he usually wears a Pittsburgh Pirates cap.
So, while I am very happy for the Pirates, their management, owners, the fans that have latched on to this incredibly fun team, all of us long time suffering folks. I’m incredibly happy to have all of those seats and to do the math involved. I’ll be the happiest when I get to shake Phil’s hand as he shows us to our seats during that first playoff game that we have waited for for so long.