First and foremost, I’m a baseball fan. It’s reasonable for me to say that I’ve been a baseball fan longer than most of you have been alive. Yes, I remember the ’79 Pirates. Growing up in New Jersey as a Yankees fan (don’t hold that against me), I rooted for them first, then any team playing any other AL East team. That might sound odd considering that the Pirates and Yankees had some legendary World Series clashes back in the day, but it worked for me. An uncle who did business in Pittsburgh brought me that famous Pirates pillbox cap during the Series and I wore it proudly; that cap was actually quite the fashion statement at my middle school that year, despite its solid location in Yankees/Mets territory.
After that, the Pirates became my National League team, much to the disgust of my brother the Mets fan. NBC’s Game of the Week featured the Bucs quite a bit when I was a teenager and young adult, so between that and the box scores in our local paper I was able to keep up with the team from nearly 400 miles away. The brother and I could usually hit at least one Pirates/Mets game a year at Shea Stadium, where I would rock my pillbox and Dave Parker jersey and he would pretend not to know me.
What’s funny is that I’ve seen the Pirates play live at least a dozen times, but this season was the first time I’ve seen them in Pittsburgh. I have a bucket list item of going to all the MLB parks, and PNC Park marked my eighteenth park. It’s also now my home park since I moved to Pittsburgh this spring, and I’m close enough so that I can hear the fireworks go off when someone hits a homer.
It’s not easy to be a Pirates fan these days. I won’t deny that I’ve facepalmed hard at some dubious bunting decisions or questioned Clint Hurdle’s sanity when he leaves a pitcher in just a little too long. But I really like this team. They’re young, they have players that are showing huge upside, they’re still striving to win and they’re having fun doing it. Hope is never dead when that happens.
As for me, I’ve been fortunate to be able to make my living writing since I was laid off from my corporate career in 2017. Writing for Bucs Dugout, however, will be far more fun than the anonymous blog posts and product descriptions that normally fill my workday. I live with my husband and our cat Poe, who is currently sporting a Pirates collar (it gets switched to a Penguins collar once the season is over). When I’m not writing or watching sports, I love to read and explore my new hometown. I lived in the south for a long time, mostly in Richmond, Virginia, and it’s good to be back in the northeast. LET’S GO BUCS!