Tuesday, October 1, 2013

a new pirate generation, everybody shout... let's go bucs!

Yes, I know this is supposed to be my teacher/home/organizing/craft blog.  But I named it the mrs. b blog so I could write about anything I want.  And today, I feel moved to share something with you.

I am a Pittsburgh Pirate fan.  Always have been, and always will be.

 It goes all the way back to when I was really little.  My grandparents watched games all the time.  I remember getting to their house to visit, and the game was on.  I wanted to play with Grandma or Pap, but I had to wait until the game was over...  and over time, I got more and more into it.

When I was in first grade, there was some big, school wide reading challenge where we somehow earned tickets for drawings and raffles.  I don't remember the details to the whole system, I just remember that there was a school assembly at the end of it, and Jay Bell from the Pirates came to do the drawing.  I don't remember what I actually won, but I do remember Mr. Bell pulling my ticket out more than once and getting to shake his hand each time.  I was thrilled.

Fast forward to when I was in middle school and high school, my poor Buccos were terrible.  Awful.  I was a Pirate fan when they lost 100 games in 2001.  Funny story--that's when PNC Park opened.  I was a Pirate fan when they lost 105 games in 2010.  I saw my favorite players get traded numerous times (and eventually got to the point I wouldn't vocalize who my favorite player was because as soon as picked favorites, they got traded).  I loved Jason Kendall, Jack Wilson, Oliver Perez and Jason Bay.  I loved watching Salomon Torres go up to bat with a huge smile on his face.  I bet my choir teacher in high school for six years running that this was the year the Pirates were going to win as many games as they lost.  And I lost that bet every year.

But more importantly, over all those losing seasons, the Pirates gave me something really important--something to bond with my Gram, my Pap Pap, my cousins, my sisters, my parents, my entire family, over.  There is nothing like talking baseball with your ninety year old grandfather, hearing him call players Fish Lips and arguing whether this is their year or not.  There is nothing like listening to your grandmother go on and on about how handsome Nate McLouth or Neil Walker is one minute, the next, cursing out the radio for the error they just committed.  I've gone to so many games with my sisters and cousins--freezing opening days, melting hot summer night games, in April, in June, in September.

Fast forward to this--the 2013 season.  After two end of season collapses the last two years, I was still saying this was their year.  This was the year we were going to hit .500.  I went to eight games this season, and the first was on April 14 against the Reds.  Then, in September, my boys--Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen, Mr. Hurdle and the rest of them--won their 81st win.  For the first time in 21 years--we were guarenteed to at least have as many wins as losses.  I cried.  I freaked my husband out with the happy tears that were streaming down my face.  Then, they won again, and we had our first winning season in 21 years.  I didn't think the season could possibly get any better.  Everything I had ever wanted for my Pirates had happened.

And then, they made the playoffs.  I watched the team celebrate with champagne on TV while I sat on the couch yelling right along with them, clutching a Kleenex and drying my happy tears.  The electricity in Pittsburgh is insane.  We've been waiting for a winning season for so long, and our boys delivered big this year.  Never have I been to games in September at PNC Park where the crowd has been as big, as excited, as this season.

My Pittsburgh Pirates are playing in the National League Wild Card Game tonight.  And you better bet your bottom dollar that I will be there.  I'm packing my snack bag, wearing black, wearing my Post Season cap and taking some Kleenex.

These Buccos have already made me one of the happiest baseball fans in the country.  And tonight, they're going to make me even happier.  It doesn't matter to me now whether they win or lose (although, I would love if they beat the Reds again...) because these boys have finally done what I have known they could do since the time I was five.  They won.  Everything after win #81 has been icing (and sprinkles) on the cake.

Raise that Jolly Roger!

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