Raising the Jolly Roger
I’ll make this one quick. I don’t have much time to mourn, because it’s midterm week in the Bronx, and I have to get prepared.
It’s been 21 years since the Pittsburgh Pirates have had a winning season, let alone a playoff appearance. I won’t spend much time listing all the things that have happened since then and now, but suffice it to say that it’s been a long time coming.
I wrote for IHeartPGH this summer, hoping to give a die-hard fan’s perspective on the Pirates. I’ll boil down my perspective to this: I want 82. Man, I’ve wanted 82 more than I’ve ever wanted the Steelers to win the Super Bowl, the Penguins to win the Stanley Cup, or just about anything else that I could ever want. In 2013, the Pittsburgh Pirates won their 82nd game on September 9th. I didn’t yell all that loud about it, (except on Twitter) and then, for the first time in my entire life, I started to seriously think about the Pittsburgh Pirates as playoff contenders. And they kept winning games. Between September 9th and September 23rd, the Pirates had won 12 more games. They had guaranteed that Pittsburgh—and, more importantly, that PNC Park—would at last see a playoff game. On October 1st, 2013, they clinched at least two more playoff games in the Steel City, and I only wished that I could have been there. I’ve put everything on hold to watch the Bucs as closely as I could in the past week, and I’ve never been more proud of my team or of my city.
As I’m writing this, Pedro Alvarez has been retired as the last out of the 2013 season, and I’m sad that it couldn’t go on longer, but I can’t deny that I’m at least somewhat pleased with the result. The Pirates have staged an amazing baseball renaissance in the city of Pittsburgh. Frankly, it sucks that the city can’t get more reacquainted with fall baseball, but we don’t have much time to mourn. Baseball’s back in Pittsburgh, and we have to get prepared for 2014.