Like lots of people, once upon a time I was kid. A kid that liked baseball. I remember my first game, Phillies vs. Braves at Veterans Stadium. Juan Samuel hit a home run. My parents were split, I lived in State College, but my Dad lived in Allentown. He took me to my first big league game, and every big league game I’d ever been to before I turned 18. I was a Phillies fan.
1993 started with a game. Opening day, the Phillies won. They won the next day, and for whatever reason they kept on winning. The Phillies went to the series that year, they lost, but I never had more fun watching baseball than I did that season. I didn’t go to one single game. But I’ve never lost sight of the fact that a team can go from worst to first. It happens. Baseball can be magical that way.
Regardless, I was still a kid, and I got it in my head that the coolest thing in the world would be to live in the city and have baseball tickets. Life worked out the way it worked out and I wound up in Pittsburgh in 2000. I went to Law School, married a yinzer broad, had a kid and settled down. But my childish dream never quite died and in 2004 I bought my very own ticket plan for the first time.
There is nothing quite like taking your Dad to a baseball game.
My step-dad married my Mom when I was 18 months old. He raised me like I was his own, and he grew up in North-Eastern Pennsylvania, as a New York Baseball Giants fan. In 2005 my ticket package was ten games in the front row in right field. Total cost $500, give or take. But let me tell you, when your Father is seeing his favorite baseball team, and says “I’ve never been this close to a major league baseball team in my life”, it resonates.
Today I live in Bellevue, a few miles from the park. I have a full season plan this year, and every trip to PNC Park fulfills a childhood dream. The Phillies won the series last year, and while I was so happy for them and their fans it did nothing for me personally. I was surprised actually, but I didn’t even watch the game.
For better or worse, somewhere along the line, this team and this city grew on me. I chose to be a Pirate fan. So cut me some slack.
My name is jesse. And I’m a Pirate fan.