Andy Van Slyke, Jay Bell, Doug Drabek, Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla and on and on. 1988 came around, the Bucs we doing well and that was great for a 10 year old. I made my first Pirates game and Bonilla, Bonds and Van Slyke all hit homers.
Usually every year we would hit a Pirates game up. It would take 3-4 hours back then to get there from where im from. We always hit Dicks Diner up in Murraysville before the game. about 20 of us would cram in a full size econoline ford van and head to Three Rivers Stadium. The best part was the drive in. Coming around the turns and finally seeing the Pittsburgh skyline was awesome.
Winning back then made me a fan, it made me "Proud Again" (if you have ever seen the VHS version). I got my Van Slyke jersey give-away one day and probably wore it everyday all summer. Got my Barry Bonds bat too. Those are the types of things as a 10 year old that draw you in. Being a 37 hear old now, I have went through it all. I route for the players to do well and being a diehard fan, it was rough for a while. The greatest sporting moment in my life was going to the 2013 wildcard game and sitting with the left field loonies. Im getting chills just thinking of how loud that place was. Russell Martins homerun was within reach, but I couldn't pull it in. These are the types of things that make a 37 year old keep loving the Pirates. The HOPE of another 2013. The HOPE of a World Series some day. The HOPE my children have the same love for the game of baseball and hopefully the Pirates as I do.