Last season got the train rollin. It didn’t end well, but there was a glimmer of hope.
The Pirates are one game out of first place in the NL Central division and are still over .500 on the season. If the Reds lose to the Diamond backs tonight, we will be tied for first (again). Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, Casey McGehee, and Neil Walker’s bats are awake and our bullpen is better than it has been in years.
The buzz on the internet lately is regarding the “bandwagon fans” of the Pittsburgh Pirates whom have emerged in the past two season that the Buccos have been performing. Being a huge hockey fan myself, the dynamic between how people feel about bandwagon fans in hockey is the exact opposite.
This fact was brought up by another Pittsburgh blogger (Dump n’ Chase) and it is true. So we discussed some reasons why this may be the case.
Baseball is a sport of leisure. Ballparks are a breeding ground for social activity.
But take a look at the amount of youth at the ballpark the past two seasons. These kids have literally NEVER known a winning baseball team in their entire lives. I am just barely old enough that I remember when the Pirates were a winning team. But I remember. I was there at the games. I was fortunate enough to learn what baseball was when Doug Drabek was on the mound and Andy Van Slyke was in the outfield. This is the team that I am teaching my son about baseball on. I’d love nothing more than for him to have a great baseball team to root for.
So now, this season the Pirates and their fans are having the time of their lives with the onboarding of the Zoltan “Z”.
T-shirts, fan videos…it is EVERYWHERE. Is the Z some kind of magic that brought the team closer together? As silly as it is, yes. I think it did spark something in them. And it also united the fans.
Pittsburgh was a baseball town. This is a sports town in general, but you can tell that baseball is in our hearts and it is really uniting fans. The other morning at Eat’n Park, a bunch of old timers were in line behind me to pay asking if anyone had seen the end of the Pirate game in Milwaukee from the night before because they had all fallen asleep. I know people who haven’t paid attention to the Pirates in years that are now listening to games on the radio if they can’t watch.
Even my friends who aren’t baseball fans are excited that the team is doing well because they understand what it means for the city and they enjoy Pittsburgh having winning teams. They see how dedicated our fans our when we have a product that we can put ourselves behind in good faith.
No matter if you stayed with the Pirates through every bad season or if it was hit-or-miss, this is something that all fans, old and new generation, should be able to enjoy.
After a rough weekend in Milwaukee, the Pirates are recovering (somewhat) against the Rockies and won the series, though it didn’t come so easy. With the day off tomorrow, they return home on Friday for a series against the Marlins, followed by a home stance against the Cubs.
See you at the ballpark!