Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: The real winners in this scene

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …


>> The Friday column, which actually appears on our A-1 news front this morning rather than the sports section, was intended to be this summation of all the sappiness currently surrounding the baseball club.


Oh, well. At any rate, for more reasons than one, I’d hope that the Pirates taking four of five from the Cardinals would supersede falling by two touchdowns in the finale. Fact is, it might have been the best series they’ve played in many a moon.

Here’s part of my talk with a lifetime Pirates fan dating to Forbes Field …

And you know how I always say I want to hear from you on the topic?

Well, I do want to hear from  you on this topic. Speak up. Share your stories of suffering/celebrating the Pirates, whatever you have down below.

Here’s our news coverage of the day, by Rob Biertempfel, Karen Price and Travis Sawchik.

Here’s Cardinals coverage from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here are official game highlights from

Finally, here’s a piece from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal richly critical of Neal Huntington’s failure to make a move. As noted here the other day, no one in this business is more connected with baseball executives.

Be sure Rosenthal will be off the Pirates’ Christmas card list for this.

>> LaMarr Woodley apparently has done his part. Mark Kaboly weighs in from Latrobe. And on a very much related note, Jarvis Jones struts his stuff in drills.

I’m headed back to Saint Vincent this weekend in search of a Sunday column.

>> The Riverhounds play two meaningful matches in Florida this weekend. The one tonight at Tampa Bay, in particular, might well decide playoff fate.

>> This is cool: This blog hit its top two baseball-season hit counts ever Tuesday and Wednesday, no doubt fueled by the trade deadline. Thank you to Pirates fans.

>> Reminder: The chat is today at noon, its new regular day. Same place, here on the blog.

>> Just before that, at 11:30 a.m., I’ll check in with the TribLIVE Radio crew. Listen live.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Andrew says:

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this column. I was born 5 months before the Sid Bream Slide so I don’t remember a winning Pirates team. But my Dad, who passed away suddenly in March, would tell me it was worth the wait and now I Can see why. I’ve been to Pirates games every year since I could walk. Went to the doubleheader Tuesday and can easily say it was a completely different atmosphere than I’ve ever witnessed. Great Column

  2. Eric Bowser says:

    Andrew – belated sympathies with the passing of your father, hopefully this season is just a little more special than one team with a winning record.

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks a lot, Eric. And trust me, it is. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of the season

  4. Steven Kubitz says:

    I am by no means an old fan. (25-years-old) However, other than some vague recollections of the 1992 NLCS, the only baseball I have known is losing baseball. I have been a season-ticket holder since 2006 and from my seats in Section 137 I’ve seen the less than stellar outfield play of Lastings Milledge. The Brewers throttling us 20-0. Michael Restovich getting playing time for whatever reason.

    Prior to that, I watched as we tricked ourselves into thinking Zach Duke was the future of our rotation. I watched as a series of soft throwing pitchers came through our system only to get destroyed time after time. I watched Brian Bixler not break home to score the winning run on Opening Day.

    I saw PNC Park only filled to capacity during fireworks nights and bobblehead giveaways. I listened to high school classmates make fun of me and the Pirates. I had to hear the jokes about the Pirates never winning a game. I had to endure the City of Champions…and the Pirates.

    For years, the Pirates were basically an abusive relationship. I kept tricking myself into thinking THIS YEAR will be different. Well guess what? This year is different. No one is making fun of me for liking the Pirates anymore. They win the games they’re supposed to lose and look damn good doing it. I can wear my Pirates cap with pride everyday now. I don’t have to hear about how Pirates games are only nice because of PNC Park. It’s still beautiful, but the play of the team is equally as beautiful now.

    2011 Series vs. the Red Sox was a small taste of what winning baseball could be like at PNC Park. 2012 season was a huge tease, but 2013 is the dream come true. The Pittsburgh Pirates are no longer a punchline in this city. The Pittsburgh Pirates are no longer an afterthought. The Pittsburgh Pirates are no longer filler until the Steelers report to training camp. The Pittsburgh Pirates are the best team in baseball.

    DK: Outstanding, Steven. Welcome to our little world here.

    In a game I covered in Milwaukee a few years ago, Restovich was swinging his bat in the clubhouse when Jack Wilson went back for his glove. Boom! Right in the head.

    Heady times, indeed.

  5. Eric Bowser says:

    After getting soaked with laughter for being a Pirates fan for the last twenty seasons, this is special and not a moment I’ll forget and hopefully I can enjoy with my son.

    When I moved back to Pennsylvania in 2002, I was in search of resetting my life and one way to get me centered was driving from Kittanning to PNC Park for twenty games that season.

    Baseball will do that to someone. It gives you the serenity to be a peace with yourself and over time with some helpful advice, I was able to set my priorities and start my life over.

    So when the Pirates finally clinch 82 on their way to a World Series title, it’ll mean a little more than just a simple game for me and probably many of you.

  6. Eric Bowser says:

    Great post Steven… loved it.

  7. Reading says:

    My mother took me to my first Pirates game in 1970 at Forbes Field, about a week before the last game was played there. Bat Day against the Expos. All I wanted was a Roberto Clemente bat. I get to the gate, and the usher hands me a Wilver Stargell bat. Oh well, one Hall of Famer for another. Did not get back to Forbes Field site again until a few years ago. Every time I’m at Pitt, I check out the remnants of the outfield wall.

  8. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Any chance of getting an extension on that trading deadline?…..

  9. Reading says:

    Found in my Pirates memorabilia is an envelope from 1972. Knowing of my interest in the Pirates and its history, my Grandmother from Edgewood clipped Pie Traynor’s obituary from the Press and PG and sent them to me in Reading. How many 9-year olds get that from their grandmother?

  10. Jason81 says:

    Reading this article made me think back on all the baseball I’ve seen or can at least remember since I was born 32 years ago. When Sid Bream slid across home plate in 1992, I cried myself to sleep. Even I understood that team was going to be blown up because the Pirates just couldn’t afford to keep everyone. Little did I know 21 years later I’d still be waiting to see playoff baseball in Pittsburgh again.

    As Pirates fans, we’ve seen a lot of bad baseball since that October night in Atlanta. Yet we’ve never gone away. We’ve always been here, waiting for baseball to capture the entire city, just like what happens with the Steelers and Pens. The last two years, it did early in the summer and then we had long, slow, painful marches to the finish line. I’d always see people wearing their brand new Yankees and Red Sox hats and call them bandwagon fans, just waiting for the Pirates to get their turn and wondering if they would all of a sudden trade those other hats in for one for the local team. And even if we end up with bandwagon fans with their brand new hats, so be it.

    Finally, and most importantly to me, my 7-year old son played organized baseball for the first time this year. Now, he can’t get enough. He wants to go throw the ball around every day. He watches every game he can with me from the first pitch to the last. If he falls asleep before the game is over, the first question I get in the morning is “What did the Pirates do?” He even gave me a list of his 5 favorite Pirates during Wednesday’s game (Gerrit Cole is #1). It’s what I’ve been waiting for since he was born. I wanted the Pirates to be good so he could experience the same things I did as a child and so that he would grow up a fan of all Pittsburgh sports teams, just like his Dad. I just hope he doesn’t have to experience his own Sid Bream like many of us did.

  11. Ghost says:

    We are Charlie Brown. We NEVER get to kick the ball. Then suddenly, inexplicably, Lucy let us KICK IT!

  12. Reading says:

    The day of the infamous 1992 NLCS Game 7, I was flying from Providence, RI, to Honolulu, HI, with my wife, our two-year old son, and one-month old daughter on military PCS orders. The flight stopped in Atlanta. We got to Honolulu in the afternoon without knowing what was happening in the game, raced to the rental car as fast as we could with two young children and our belongings, and found the game on the radio just in time for the bottom if the 9th. Listening to the Pirates lose in the NLCS for the third straight year was devastating. I always regretted not being able to watch the game and not being able to suffer along with each pitch like I had for every other Pirates Playoff game in my life. Little did I know that I’d still be waiting to watch another Pirates playoff game.

  13. Fea says:

    I’m 19, so I’ve sadly never seen the Pirates float their ship over .500. And although I’m too young to remember many of the losing years and don’t have the ability to fully hate Sid Bream as much as you do, I have grown up with a father and older siblings who shamelessly root for the Reds. I know the Reds haven’t had the greatest years in recent history, but they’ve been better than the Pirates. Every losing year my mother and I have had to endure all kinds of taunts and jeers. The day I realized I could ignore phone calls was one of my best.

    This year, for my Mom and me, is absolutely fantastic. No more being asked if I knew if teams played baseball in October or being told, “Hey, maybe next year or decade.”

    It’s this year. This is our year. And it’s amazing.

    As sweet as this moment is for Mom and me, I know it is even sweeter for the city. I live just outside the city, but my bedroom walls are covered with pictures of that gorgeous skyline. No place makes me happier, and nothing makes me happier than seeing so much optimism in the streets. I’m 19, and although I can’t fully grasp what 20 years feels like, I know what it’s like to see the city you absolutely love cheering every single inning, fans staying the entire game, having conversations with absolute strangers about the magical thing happening at PNC night in and night out, it is chill-inducing. I’m not an emotional person, but when Mark Melancon threw that strike I’ll be damned if I didn’t have a tear in my eye.

    The Fountain is back, the Buccos are back and I’m pretty sure the Clemente Bridge has been a little brighter yellow, this summer is one for the books for the Burgh. And I can’t get enough of it.

    DK: I should have taken the day off. Wonderful. And welcome.

  14. Fea says:

    Thank you for the compliment and the welcoming! I’ve been reading this long enough, it’s about time I actually post, huh?

    DK: It’s overdue, young lady. Next up: for an avatar. It’s easy enough, you’ll see. It just picks up your Twitter avi.

  15. Mizery says:

    Living out of town I have to go to most of my Pirates games in other cities. The relentless heckling from the home teams fans and I had nothing to counter with besides the quote, “can’t I suffer in silence”? Now I can go to the games and not only see a good product on the field, but have some bragging rights for obnoxious fans about being the best team in baseball. When 82 hits, it won’t matter where I’m at, I will be going to the closest bar to celebrate and buy everyone a round.

  16. Reading says:

    Last one, and then I’ll stop boring everyone. Growing up, whenever we would visit my Grandparents in Edgewood during baseball season, I would, as soon as possible, call Three Rivers Stadium. I don’t know where I got the number, but the phone would ring, and ring, and ring about 200 times before someone would answer. I’d ask whoever answered if there were any tickets available for the Pirates game that night. This was the early 70s. Of course, there were always tickets available, and we’d take the bus from Edgewood to the stadium. I could not wait to make that call each time.

  17. Scott says:

    Very interesting stuff from Rosenthal, and it certainly paints a different picture than what we heard from NH. I wonder if we’ll ever know what the Bucs’ offer was for Schierholtz. He’s the guy I really wanted, and it is indeed hard to imagine that the Cubs would have been holding out for one of the team’s top prospects in return.

  18. Fea says:

    It is indeed! Awesome, Thanks for the tip! :) I’ll get on that ASAP.

  19. Ghost says:

    Meanwhile, I am a ghost and I can vouch for the ghost of Roberto’s promise that he will not let the streak reach 21.

    However, he did say remark that Pedro made another error and now has reached his own “20,” himself. There is nothing Roberto can do to prevent No. 24 from reaching 21. Pedro will surpass his own jersey number in errors before the month is out and, sorry to say, is not the answer at third base beyond this season. The errors can’t always be hidden in laughers like tonight.

  20. Steve says:

    Wonderful piece, Dejan.

    I will never forget being one of the hundreds sitting in the rain on Labor Day 2009 at PNC Park watching the Pirates clinch loss 82 for the record. That’s why this season is special to me.

    DK: Thanks for that and for sharing. Welcome, Steve.

  21. Ghost says:

    Yes, interesting. The denial by someone presumably within the Marlins that Huntington ever actually made an offer for Stanton flat out contradicts what Huntington told us. Would like to know which account is false.

    But I am content that Huntington didn’t deem Schierholtz worthy of whatever the Cubs were asking. As I’ve said before, Huntington has finally learned that talent will somehow always pass through your system — the key is knowing who to hold on to it when you have them in your hands. Clearly, this approach is working better than the previous approach of trying to wheel and deal our way to winning. Huntington has gotten us the best record in baseball *largely* by slowing down and becoming stingy.

    DK: How does it contradict what Huntington said?

    I was in that room. He never answered a question about Stanton. He was asked one, didn’t answer it.

    For all anyone knows, Huntington’s reference could have been to Mark Trumbo of the Angels or another player or players we don’t know about.

  22. diehard says:

    Nice work DK. Personally, I was at the last World Series game won in Pittsburgh (Game 5, 1979) and the last playoff game won in Pittsburgh (Game 5, 1992). I was 8 years old at that World Series game, and my youngest daughter is 8 now. She, and her siblings, are big Pirates fans. I’m watching her spend afternoons in our front yard playing out wiffle ball games as many of us did (except in her version, all of the current players bat and throw lefty). This year is different, and it’s special – and they know it too.

    By the way, you mentioned the youth group that was there (among many), and I’m not sure if there will be any coverage of it, but last night was “Faith Night.” As hard as that game was – afterwards 8 or 9 players and 4 coaches came out to share with about 6 sections worth of fans about their faith and the role it plays in their lives and careers. It was a very cool time, and an incredible glimpse into who these men are. This team, these men, are different.

    As I said, I’ve always been a Pirates’ fans. I’ve lived and died with them since my first game in 1977. After tonight, I’m more of a fan of these men than I’ve ever been before.

    DK: I only knew what these couple of kids told me about it beforehand. Most of them seemed high-school aged.

  23. Andrew says:

    Being just 17 years old, I’ve obviously never seen a winning season. However, I’ve invested far too many hours in this baseball team and thought I’d chime in.

    For bad memories, I’ll never forget attending this game the Pirates blew a 7-1 lead in May ’07: My dad threw our bobbleheads in the trash as we exited PNC…

    There are too many satisfying moments from this year to name, but seeing the wins in Washington last week and attending Tuesday’s doubleheader quickly come to mind. (BTW, we did TRAVEL to DC, don’t live there:

    Seeing this town backing the Bucs like never before has been awesome for me. Walking through town before tonight’s game, I saw a ton of Bucco gear and even had a few people mention the potential sweep as we passed each other.

    Final thought for you DK: it’s a shame I won’t be able to enjoy the final months of the season with you on Twitter, since you blocked me for writing a Pirates blog. Always respected & appreciated your work.

    DK: I appreciate that, Andrew. If you share your Twitter handle, I’ll happily unblock.

  24. Reading says:

    About that 13-0 loss. Of course, in the 1960 WS, the Pirates lost 10-0, 12-0, and 16-3. Winning 4 is all that matters.

  25. Ghost says:

    Absolutely agree. Never good to lose, but a slap in the face like that actually feels refreshing! Okay, not so refreshing. But it keeps our feet on the ground, because like A.J. says, there’s another game today, and one the day after that.

  26. Ed says:

    Yeah, I was there last year, that game against the Reds that clinched No. 20. Probably the most painful No. 82 of all, given the monumental collapse it took to get there. Tabata’s gimp from first to third, getting thrown out to kill the bottom of the 9th rally, is still fresh.

    I like what’s going on right now. How can one not? I was there for the sweep on Tuesday. It was great to see the place so alive.

    But there’s still two months left in the season. The toughest ones for a team in contention. If they get through this month, leading the division, or at least in the thick of it, I’ll feel a lot better about 82 and beyond.

  27. mike s says:

    Reading, I thought exact same thing tonite watching this 13 – 0 loss that I’d DVR’d (had to work). Thought about just deleting during disastrous 8 run inning, but decided to stick around to watch Black pitch.

    I’ve posted a few times in past years, but generally just enjoy reading the posts morning after. This is a great group of lunatics; all passionate Pirate fans. I’ve been one for over five decades; my earliest memories are from the ’58 or ’59 team (forget which one) when Elroy went 18 – 1. A prized possession is a Clemente autographed score card from September 13, 1972, a 6 – 4 Pirate win over Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Great One with 3 for 3 with a walk, 3 runs scored. One of the hits was a HR, the last one of his career.

    Onward to the playoffs.

  28. Ghost says:

    Well this is how Rob Biertempfel’s coverage read yesterday:
    “Aiming higher — and trying to spark a deal — Huntington inquired about standouts such as Mark Trumbo, Giancarlo Stanton and Hunter Pence… The Pirates made repeated attempts to work a deal for Stanton and, according to another source, made an offer that caught the attention of Miami’s front office.”
    My point isn’t to play “Gotcha!” with Huntington. Because 24/7’s account is from “another source,” I’m unable to get to the bottom of who is responsible for the “offer that caught the attention…” verbiage. Nor do I know who is this fly on the wall telling Rosenthal his stuff. So Huntington might well be aloof from all this posturing. Certainly no skin off my back. My simple observation was, and is, that there are two opposing accounts as to whether the Pirates made an offer for Stanton, or not. They can’t both be the truth.

  29. theplanisworking says:

    To be fair, I dont believe neal said anything about Stanton.

    It was Biertempfel who said the Pirates worked hard to acquire Stanton, and the offer made really made Miami think.

    Clark Spencer, from the Miami Herald, says the Marlins never talked to Miami about Stanton.

    So, who is telling the truth?
    Doesnt matter, nothing came of it, but clearly there is a complete contradiction of what was said here.

  30. theplanisworking says:

    Should be Pittsburgh.
    Sheesh, oldzheimers!

  31. Drew71 says:

    “The Pittsburgh Pirates are no longer filler until the Steelers report to training camp.”

    No sarcasm intended: when I read that sentence, it REMINDED me of what had been pushed completely out of my mind…that the Steelers are in camp. No sarcasm, no disrespect towards the Steelers, no kidding. The Pirates had made me forget Latrobe.

    But well beyond that ah-hah moment, I thoroughly enjoyed every word of that post, Steven.

  32. 21sthebest says:


  33. Thundercrack says:


  34. Thundercrack says:

    Rosenthal wonders if it was a leak or bad reporting by RB.

    I hope this starts a twitter war today.

  35. JAL says:

    JAL’s Stayin’ Alive Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Why Charlie Morton Belongs in the Pirates Rotation

    Cardinals Good at Baseball, Pirates Lose 13-0

    Prospect Watch: Johnson and Dickson Strong In Back-To-Back Outings

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates lose 13-0, no one cares

    8 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Did Bucs Really Make A Huge Offer For Stanton?

    9 The Green Weenie

    Cards Salvage Pride (But Not the Series) With 13-0 Win

    10 Rumbunter

    The Pittsburgh Pirates Let The Cat Outta The Bag

    The 21 Most Intoxicating 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Facts

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Cardinals 13 Pirates 0

  36. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Business Insider

    5 Things You Should Know About The Pittsburgh Pirates, The Best Team In Baseball

    13 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cardinals bust out of their funk in a big way

    14 Yahoo Sports

    Cardinals avert 5-game sweep, trounce Pirates 13-0–mlb.html

    15 Fox Sports

    Timid GMs made deadline a dud-line

    16 CBS Sports

    Rockies-Pirates Game Preview

    17 KDKA

    Baseball Writer Rob Neyer: Pirates Were Not Losers At Deadline

    18 PBC Site

    Bucs finish stellar series vs. Cards with a loss

    Notebook: Wandy’s recovery continues in encouraging fashion


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Phillies President Speaks to SABR

    20 Fangraphs

    The Pittsburgh Pirates Aren’t Regressing

  37. Thundercrack says:

    If Rosenthal is so connected why couldn’t he find out what we offered or what exactly the Cubs wanted for Schierholtz? Did the Pirates actually make an offer for him.

    Schierholtz would have been a good fit for the Pirates
    I could have reported that.

  38. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Jets coach Rex Ryan considers Steelers coach Mike Tomlin one of his biggest rivals

    Steelers claim healthy defensive back off waivers for training camp

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers Hope to Reap Benefits of Live Contact Drills


    23 Daily Mail

    The two Ronnies! Here’s why Real are so keen to snap up Bale… These pictures show Welsh wizard turning into the new Ronaldo

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 1st August, 2013

  39. JAL says:

    Stayin’ Alive Bee Gees 1977 Off the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack which became the top selling album of all time in 1979

  40. Thundercrack says:

    My last post looks like one of JAL’s morning links.

    I feel like I’ve finally made it!!’

  41. theplanisworking says:

    Excellent article as always, DK.

    2 weeks ago, as I was deep-cleaning the house, I came across 2 mystery boxes. One had some old trinkets in it, the other had papers and magazines. When I went though them, I saw the 1970 TRS Official Opening souvenir book, the 1971 Pirate Yearbook, and 1974 All-Star game book. This brought back a ton of memories, which included seeing Roberto asking Bob Prince to wait so that he could address his parents in Spanish….. mere minutes after winning the 71 Series. Found my 1960 picture pennant too.

    The thing I was worried about during this God-awful 20 years losing streak was that this team would lose the young fans. With so many more entertainment choices out there today, I was afraid the teams fans would just start dying off, never to be replaced. I am very happy to see that isnt the case. Also, I do hope the “new” fans this year stick around. Nothing wrong with jumping on the bandwagon, but as the column states, there are some, actually many, who have been around thru many, many lean years.

    One final note…………. when the man whose name shall not be spoken slid home in 1992, killing the Bucs, the city went into a collective funk for baseball that has lasted a long time. The baseball fans need this teams success, to shake that funk off for good.
    Here’s to hoping they do that in spades.

  42. JAL says:

    Something else i do, evening with a Pittsburgh area woman who it big

    Actress Shirley Jones embraces role as TV ‘grandma’, rejects computers

  43. JAL says:

    that is made it big

  44. kr70 says:

    so while the baseball powers at be try to figure out what to do, the cheaters still play, still could be effecting play-off races, still taint the game. Time for action.

  45. Jandy says:

    Checking in this morning, loonies, then off to Inner harbor. Great feeling, even after the loss last night. 4 of 5 is super! Can’t win them all.

    Loved seeing everyone’s thoughts above. Enjoyed every last word of it.

    And for the newbies, and lurkers:
    We WANT to chat with you! If you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum. Don’t be shy!
    We don’t bite!

    Everyone, enjoy your day and your weekend. I’m outta here!

  46. Milo Hamilton says:

    Get into any of the juicy stuff ? I hear the book is pretty racy.

  47. JAL says:

    Not that night.

  48. grandpagreg says:

    I’ll never forget walking up from the concourse at Forbes Field and how I felt like Dorothy looking out at Oz after her house landed. My body was covered in goosebumps as the emerald greens of the infield and outfield struck my eyes. You may have had an occasional girder in front of your seat but you felt like you were in a real ballpark. And when the game was over, you could walk onto the field and exit through the outfield. One day we even talked to two boys we saw sitting in the bullpen who told us they were Andre Rodgers’ sons.
    My son, two grandsons, and myself came from Virginia Beach and attended Monday night’s game against the Cardinals. Once again I was blown away by the beauty of PNC Park and the memories of Forbes it brought back.

  49. Gary O'Shell says:

    I have been a Pirate fan since 1959, and have wonderful memories of “Knothole” games with my Little League team, of going to ball games with a $1.50 General Admission ticket and then sneaking into the box seats later in the game. Of standing outside Forbes Field in 1964 and getting autographs from Willie Stargell and a number of others, and at that same game, seeing the majestic Roberto Clemente come out, and surrounded by a gang of kids, stop and give everyone of us an autograph….The 1960, 71 and 79 champs, and the great teams of the 90’s, as well as all the levels in between. The last 20 years have been tough, especially with memories of all the great players of the past. It’s truly wonderful to see these Pirates playing so well. Some years ago I was wearing a Pirate jersey here in Northern Virginia. A fellow at a gas station laughed at it. I doubt he, and many others, are laughing now.

  50. Thundercrack says:

    Another night?

  51. Matt Gajtka says:

    I’m in and out of this forum, usually just reading the posts. Been doing so since DK’s PBC Blog days. I’m 28 and started following the Bucs in 1998, just remembering a couple late-season games from ’97.

    My emotions are similar to most people on here. I find myself getting teary-eyed after big wins…this is a new experience in so many ways. I think the last two seasons will make the breakthrough all the sweeter when they plant their flag in the playoffs.

    My grandma passed last October. She was one of the biggest Pirates fans out there and that’s probably where some of the emotion comes from, too. So many nights spent together just enjoying each other’s company while watching the Bucs. I’m sad we won’t get to enjoy Pirates playoff baseball together, but I’m happy for Bucs fans everywhere. We deserve this!

    Also, proud to be a blogger that DK hasn’t blocked. :-)

  52. Dom says:

    What’s everyone’s favorite restaurant at PNC?

  53. Milo Hamilton says:

    Chickie’s & Pete’s.

  54. Matt hoffman says:

    Been a Pirates fan since the mid 70’s when I was kid. I have always gone to Cincinnati or St.Louis to catch the Pirates. I have gotten the baseball package deal just to watch the Pirates.
    I was a knuckleballer in college when Wakefield came on the scene in the early 90’s. loved Wakefield, not so much Bream. I hated the tomahawk chop and wished for a Sherman “march to the sea #2″!!!!
    The only time I came to PNC was in 2001, in July I brought my wife and daughters to Gettysburg and stopped to catch a game on the way back. Hate fair weather friends and bandwaggoners, they should be forced to endure every episode of “The Partridge Family”!

  55. Patrick(RI) says:

    I can still recall Prince pushing his listeners to go to “window 100″ to get tickets. I tended to be in bed, with the radio under a pillow out there in Illinois, wishing I could go to window 100. I have been fortunate enough to have lived through two eras of terrible Pirate teams, getting complete redemption once, expected results twice, and near redemption this year. It has been a great ride.

    Eric B. is right, above, when he notes how much baseball can contribute to calming the psyche. I remember another night lying in bed(this time in 2010) watching a pretty awful Pirate team through a post surgical haze of pain, drugs and self-pity. This time the technology was an iPad, and the palliative moment was the realization during the game that, hey, this Neil Walker kid is the real deal — hope prevailed.

  56. Tom P. says:

    I started going to Pirates games in 1971 when I was six. I was in law school in Nashville, TN in October, 1992. Two days after Sid Bream scored, a group of my classmates and I went to the Vanderbilt-Georgia football game in Athens, GA. Driving through Atlanta, the radio station played the clip of the last play from the CBS broadcast or the Braves radio broadcast every 10 minutes or so. For years, I could recite both of them. In some ways, it felt like the cathartic moment in a Greek tragedy. This year, we will have playoff baseball again, at least for one game. It will be Game 7 all over again,

  57. Matt says:


    Love reading your stuff. Born and raised in Richmond, VA but father has roots in Western PA. 23 and been a Pirates fan all my life. Since being able to comprehend baseball, have never been around to see a winner. Go to games every summer and love it even when we were 25 games out in the middle of July. To see what we are doing this season, I can’t put into words. Team takes after the late Jimmy V and never gives up. Hope the success continues and I can witness a playoff game live for the first time in my 23 year history.

  58. Nancy52 says:

    My Pirate memories date to the late 50’s when I’m told I read the sports pages though
    my parents didn’t think a 7 year old would understand it. I don’t recall if I actually saw
    Maz’s home run on TV but I do know my dad was there having spent the spare $$ at
    my mom’s urging for standing room tickets to games 6 & 7 in 1960. I still have those
    ticket stubs as well as the souvenir book. And the Cardinals are the first team I saw
    at Forbes Field. I went with my dad and I still have the scorecard with his
    chicken scratch writing that reminds me how much he loved the game. I missed the
    first 10 years of the “streak” being on the left coast but imagine my dad did a lot of
    what I did last night….turn off the TV. Even my mother who passed away at the end of
    June would point out I was echoing my dad every time I’d get fed up with the Pirates.
    He’s been gone almost 12 years but would really be enjoying this run.

  59. Matt hoffman says:

    BTW: My wife said we could come back to PNC for a playoff game if the Pirates ever made it and I saved up the money for gas and tickets (we live in Indiana). Not easy to save on a ministers’ salary. I have been changing oil and repairing cars on the side, trying to save up!

  60. NMR says:

    *high five*

    DK: This isn’t appreciated even in jest. The author admitted in a tweet it was a lie, then deleted the entire string. And there’s a reason for that.

  61. The Gunner says:

    How well I remember the Gunner’s sales pitch and his frequent use of Window 100. I think they had a Window 100 in the early years of 3 Rivers Stadium, too.

    I hope the new generation of fans stick around, too. I really feel as if Greg Brown, whom I have been highly critical of in the past, is doing a good job of promoting the Pirates with his “shtick” like Raise the Jolly Roger, Cannonball Coming etc. It’s kind of in the tradition of both the late, great Bob Prince and the equally great, Mike Lange.

  62. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    He may be connected, but that doesn’t make him any less of a tool. Ludwick was a great pick up, as proven by his broad shouldered effort to carry the Reds last season in Votto’s absence… just didn’t work for him in Pittsburgh, and that was probably due more to the make up of that team. The pitching failed and was not deep. There was little protection in that lineup around Ludwick. Had Huntington pulled off a move like that this year, Rosenthal would be holding Huntington’s Executive of the year award in NYC later this year.

    I am a defender of no one that makes the kind of money that these front office baseball types make….they get in the game and make the dough they make for just this kind of high stakes fun, however I will say that the closing paragraph of the great Dr. Rosenpeni$’s (Fletch) column states that great GM’s act without fear….I don’t have a Huntington painting over my fireplace (yet)….but doesn’t it take a brass set to do nothing also?

  63. Sisyphus says:

    Out of all of the trade talk we heard leading up to and after the deadline, my guess is that about 10% had any basis in the real world. That includes reports from sportswriters citing anonymous sources.

  64. Matt Gajtka says:

    People can make fun of a broadcaster for trying to get fun traditions started, but they really work to unite a fanbase when a team is winning. You begin to look forward to “Cannonball Coming” and “Raise the Jolly Roger” almost as much as you do the actual homers and wins. It’s sports…it’s supposed to be entertaining. We can forget that as fans.

  65. Patrick(RI) says:


  66. The Gunner says:

    Prince was the master of that type of thing & he had many expressions and gimmicks. Because of him, I love the Pirates to this day. Lanny did a fine job of taking Prince’s baton and now it’s Brownie’s time to keep the fans pumped up.

    P.S. – I will always be p****d off over how they fired Prince after the 1975 season – but that’s a personal issue.

  67. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    Miami also has a reason to lie about not entertaining an offer on Stanton….they have a ton of work to do in terms of winning the trust of their fans.

    Let’s just assume that all baseball executives are shrewd, and at times liars…We wouldn’t want it any other way, lest they have our beloved franchise nearly stolen out from under them.

  68. NMR says:

    Get ready to have that article cited for the next five years as the reason the Pirates didn’t win the world series.

  69. NMR says:

    I really appreciate that story, Matt. Thank you for sharing!

  70. Patrick(RI) says:

    Fully satisfying insight in four short paragraphs. I really enjoy your posts.

  71. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    With all due respect scott it’s not hard to imagine. Epstein is a smart GM and he would not hesitate to gouge a division rival for prospects as it will pay dividends whether they pan out or not

  72. Thundercrack says:

    Did Rosenthal report last year or the year before that the Pirates were considering firing NH – during the season?

    DK: Don’t recall that. Pretty much everyone was reporting it after the season because it was true.

  73. Thundercrack says:

    I think Ludwick also tweaked his back when he was here. NH later said that he made a mistake by putting Ludwick on the 15 day DL.

  74. Milo Hamilton says:

    I agree with just about everything Rosenthal had to say. He shouldn’t have lumped Wandy in with the rest of the dreck though.Great Fletch reference, by the way.

  75. NMR says:

    The only thing “uninspring” is Rosenthal’s lack of homework.

    Perhaps he could enlighten us non-connected peons as to how many hitters performed better than Derek Lee after being traded in 2011. Or how many pitchers performed better than Wandy Rodriguess post-deadline last year.

    And to praise Dan Duquette for acquiring three mediocre pitchers? Please.

  76. Vette60 says:

    Well. Great stuff everyone and I will chime in…to give you the proper perspective on things, I’m 38 so I have seen winning baseball, although it has been quite awhile.

    Favorite Bucco story is from my Dad and the ’60 World Series. He and his buddies were “sick” the day of game 7 and watched on TV. When Maz hit his HR the all piled into his buddies ’58 Impala convertible and made their way downtown. The scene was wild with folks piling in the car to the people in the bars…

    For me, I remember my Dad getting buddled up to head to one of the ’79 WS games, we still have that ticket stub. I was at Game 5 of the ’92 NLCS with my HS buds in an outfield upper deck – tons of fun. We even bought WS tix and were crushed with the Game 7 loss. I was writing a letter to my girlfriend, now wife, who was away at college. She had a girl on her hall from Atlanta and I was ready for the Bucs to make the WS and Bream sliding across the plate completely changed the tone of that letter!

    It always seemed like we had the games on the radio growing up – first game in person was back before the drug trials, it was “Dale Berra Iron City tankard” night. Would sometimes go and buy cheaply seats in GA in the outfield at 3Rivers where you couldn’t see the whole field….

    Ok got to wrap up, but I was at the Giles 2 out bottom of the 9th come back game against the Astros – bet my father-in-law a case of Yuengling, the would pull it out. Mmmm, that beer sure tasted good!

    Thanks all for sharing!

    Randy in RVA

  77. Beat 'em Bucs says:

    Loved today’s article. Just have to give a shout out to my wife here. Been married since 2002. Dated since 1998. Each year since then we would attend about 15 -20 games a year. Never got a ticket plan because it was so easy to get tickets. Team was bad, but we both love baseball that much. Just prior to Collapse # 1 in 2011, she talked me into getting a 20 game plan for the two of us and our two little girls so we could have priority for playoff tickets. Here’s what she said to me to convince me:

    “I didn’t go to games watching Josh Fogg and Kip Wells pitch for all those years so we can be sitting outside while all the bandwagon fans sit inside.”

    I’m glad she convinced me. Go Bucs!

  78. Brotherhood of the Redus says:


  79. Thundercrack says:

    I thought I heard him on The Fan with Vinnie and Cook. But I can’t remember the year.

    I do recall that him and Ron Cook seemed like they were tight.

    DK: Now I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  80. Thundercrack says:

    I heard Buster Olney say something very interesting: With Nelson Cruz facing suspension, Texas is going to need a bat and they didn’t get one either at the deadline.

  81. Milo Hamilton says:

    Comparative self denial. I learned that from Hurdle.

  82. Dom says:

    Do they have crab there?

  83. pattonbb says:

    When did Chickie and Pete’s come to PNC?

  84. JohninOshkosh says:

    Who would have thought Mrs. Partridge was such a player ?

    Hope Reuben Kincaid stayed out of the sordid details.

    I’m in love with Susan Dey still !

  85. NMR says:

    Fun fact: the Athletics, Yankees, and Royals – all teams in the playoff hunt – have produced a lower OPS in right field than the Pirates.

    “Half the teams in baseball” consider themselves contenders…yet none of them needed an outfield upgrade?

    Yeah, its only a Pirates problem. Keep telling yourself that…

  86. JohninOshkosh says:

    Enjoy, Jandy.

  87. Thundercrack says:

    Well Milo, when 3 of the bats available (allegedly) are Rios, Scheirholtz and Pence and none of them got moved – that leads me to believe that it just wasn’t the Pirates who were offering too little.
    And that maybe the price was too high for everyone.

  88. Dom says:

    Or do they only serve the crab fries?

  89. Dom says:

    Last year.

  90. Milo Hamilton says:

    Last year. I’m going to guess Slick Frank had something to do with that with his Philly ties and all.

  91. NMR says:

    Dejan: I meant it as a jab at her incredibly immature behavior, fwiw.

    DK: If that’s what we’re calling lying these days, OK.

  92. Milo Hamilton says:


  93. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hasn’t Josh Reddick fallen off the map.

  94. AJS says:

    I was 12 when sid Bream slid into home plate and crushed me for a third year in row. Going into the bottom of the ninth I told my dad that it finally looked like they weer going to do it. He said don’t get too excitd since this stadium was known as the “Launching Pad” so anything could happen at any moment.

    About 15 minutes later i went to bed, in tears.

    For a few years I watched the Bucs every night even as bad as they were. Then i just couldn’t do it. When I went to college I had a roommate that really got me back into watching the Bucs. And ever summer I lived and died by the Bucs until Latrobe.

    But this year. This summer. It has been so different. Who are the Steelers? They are in camp? Really? Who cares. Give me more Bucs. Give me a playoff team! Give me the BEST RECORD IN BASEBALL!

  95. JohninOshkosh says:

    That old baseball adage: “The name of the game is right fielders.”

    They don’t put the name of the starting right fielders in parenthesis behind the teams in the day’s schedule in the morning paper.

  96. pattonbb says:

    Wow, I didn’t know that. Very cool.

  97. NMR says:

    So much for those homeruns, eh?

  98. Milo Hamilton says:

    For those of old enough to remember – Julie London.

  99. NMR says:

    Dejan: I’m sorry my indignation doesn’t meet your standards.

  100. 21sthebest says:

    In looking at the stats, the Pirates right field OPS ranks 29th with the Astros 30th.

  101. Keith says:

    We moved to Western Pennsylvania when I was three; it was the summer of 1970. Our family was immediately indoctrinated to the Pirates by our new Yinzer friends, taking in a couple Twi-Night doubleheaders each year, usually in the left field general admission seats (so far from the field!). I enjoyed my boyhood summers emulating Pops, the Cobra, the Antelope, and Mad Dog.

    We moved to Michigan in the summer of 1979. (Yes, that’s right.) We stayed with my grandmother while my Dad looked for a job. I remember being allowed to stay up to watch Game 7 as a 12-year-old, on a cot in the upstairs hallway (not enough rooms in the house), watching on a black-and-white TV propped up on a bookshelf. I awoke happily from dozing through postgame ceremonies to see President Carter congratulating the team.

    I had been married a couple of years when the Pirates once again were the best team in baseball. In every way except the postseason. Along with everyone along the confluence, from our house in Michigan I stared agog as Sid Bream slid into home.

    Since having our own children, we’ve made it a point to get back to Pittsburgh every year or two to see a game. We made it once in 2001, as I emphasized the importance of Wilver Dornel Stargell to my young daughter and son. We sat low in the left field bleachers once, played catch with Mike Williams before the game, and got to see him save his 40th game. We even got to see the Bucs beat Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers last year during their improbable pre-collapse run.

    Tuesday, we had All-You-Can-Eat seats for the Doubleheader (forever capitalized from now on).

    I can’t write anything more here that would express how I feel today as a lifelong Pirates fan.

  102. 21sthebest says:


  103. Lad9 says:

    Nurse Dixie!

  104. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s certainly my frame of reference.

  105. Thundercrack says:

    I think he was saying she was lying.

  106. Sisyphus says:

    It isn’t just the executives. I don’t doubt that many sportswriters aren’t shy about making up their own trade rumors. And I wouldn’t put it past their sources to do the same. Everybody is under a lot of pressure at that time of the season.

  107. Sisyphus says:

    Awesome box of memorabilia there. I’m a little jealous.

  108. Thundercrack says:

    I thought I heard Rosenthal on the Vinnie & Cook show sometime over the past few years and he was reporting that the Pirates FO (FC & BN) were having discussions about firing NH.

    This happened during the season.

    And I think NH even addressed it (the reports) on his weekly radio show one week.

    I can’t remember the year. And I may be mis-remembering all together.

  109. Eric Bowser says:

    Ed… that’s what will make this special. My son and I were there last year for 82 and that stung. And much the reason why I do not trust Jose Tabata, he’s not a good baseball player.

  110. MarkV says:

    Window 100 was at G.C. Murphy’s downtown. Bought tickets there a couple of times. Easier to get there on a lunch break than over to Three Rivers.

  111. Milo Hamilton says:

    Brandon Lyon exercised his opt out with Pawtucket yesterday. Keep an eye on that one.

  112. Milo Hamilton says:

    Speaking of the bullpen, Vic Black should be sent back to Indy since he’ll probably be of no use to the big club this weekend.

  113. NMR says:

    Is Jose Contreras still pitching in Pawtucket?

  114. Naterosboro says:

    Everyone raves about their crab fries, but I can’t stand fries covered in old bay seasoning. And I mean COVERED. Like you can’t see the fries.

    It’s too much.

    I’ll speak to Pete.

  115. Vette60 says:

    Hi Matt.

    Nice post! I am a born and raised Pittsburgher now living in Glen Allen.

    Nice to see more Bucco fans in RVA!


  116. Naterosboro says:

    Wait. What happened to Brandon Moss?

  117. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yes he is. 0.75 ERA in AAA.

  118. JaxBuc says:

    Outstanding, Steven.

    What a well-written, thought-provoking post. Please stop by more often.

  119. Milo Hamilton says:

    Those 17 homers in 303 AB’s platoon at first base now.

  120. NMR says:

    He’s been platooned at 1B.

  121. NMR says:

    He’s gotta be pitching for SOMEBODY this September, no?

  122. Milo Hamilton says:

    You would think.

  123. pattonbb says:

    Is he the Duck Dynasty brother that hits .200?

  124. 21sthebest says:

    Some of those PA numbers high? Could Fangraphs count and outfielder more than once if he plays multiple outfield positions?

  125. Milo Hamilton says:

    Velocity down 3 to 4 MPH if I can read this graph properly. Red flag.

  126. The Gunner says:

    he was here before, right?

  127. buggee says:

    July 31, 1:15 pm; Neal Huntington’s office where we secretly recorded Frank Coonnelly (FC), Bob Nutting (BN) and Neal Huntington (NH) in conversation. Let’s pick it up…

    BN: “So what’s cooking Wheeler-Dealer Nealer? Have you fired that loud farting guy yet?”

    NH: “Why would I fire him sir? The man is getting standing ovations in Starbucks! Regardless sir, the phones have been quite busy with lots of offers.”

    BN: “You just make sure to run everything by me first, ok?”

    FC: “Listen gents, I wanted to ask you if you think that Johnny Walker Blue is better than Glenmorangie 24?”

    BN NH: “What?”

    FC: “Can’t decide? I have some right here and I just happen to have 3 snifters. Which do you want first?”

    NH: “Golly Frank. I don’t think it’s a good time to be imbibing. Someone may call and I may do something insane…”

    FC: “Like what? Throw away the Blue? Now THAT’s insane!”

    BN: “Enough Frank. Let’s drink after 4 pm today, before my polo match. Hell, even I know that 4 pm today is important. Remember Neal, everything by me first, right? Even if it’s to stock up on our supply of Chinese baseballs.”

    NH: “Chinese baseballs?”

    BN: “You bet. They’re cheap, and the cover actually tears off when they’re hit hard. That’s pretty cool when that kid from Pine-Richland knocks the cover off the ball. That Brown guy goes bonkers; I think he’s a lunatic anyway…”

    FC: “C’mon phone. Ring already. This Blue is burning a hole in my snifter.”
    (phone rings)

    FC: “Wow! Sweet! Time for a drink!” (loud slurping noise)

    NH: “Huntington. Well hello Francine Williams, what can I do for you?”

    BN (whispering): “Who’s that?”

    FC (whispering): “I think she runs the Washington Wild Things.”

    BN (whispering): “You never cease to amaze me Frank. How the heck do you know that?”

    FC (whispering): “Ancient Chinese secret!”

    NH: “Well I appreciate that, I truly do Francine, but Brandon Inge no longer plays for us. Can you send those baseballs anyway? I’d rather have Venezualan baseballs over Chinese baseballs. Thank you, buh bye.”

    BN: “Did you get a good deal on those baseballs Neal?”

    NH: “I did! Francine wanted to trade that bag of balls for Inge. Since Inge is no longer with us I had to kill that deal. She offered to give us the balls anyway.”

    BN: “Free?”

    NH: “Yes sir.”

    BN: “Well you can’t beat that with a stick. But listen, I want to talk to you about getting some national publicity. Is there any chance we could get a player suspended for a while by sending him to that Biogenesis place? That would be -to use the street venacular-da bomb!”

    FC: “Yeah we could beat that with a stick! Dude! They’re b.a.s.e.b.a.l.l.s. Whaddya do with a baseball? Ya hit it! With what? A BAT! What’s a bat? A stick! Point made! STAMP IT!”

    NH: “Ummm, i don’t think that’s a good idea sir. That would be some pretty strong negative pub.”

    BN: “But it would be pub Neal.”

    FC: “Ever seen that show ‘Breaking Bad’? We could have one of our players become a ‘meth chef’. Now THAT would be cool.”

    (phone rings)

    NH: “Huntington. No Clint, nothing happening yet. Jeez, I’m so glad I’m not in your office right now. Clint, you have to get that looked at.”

    BN: “What’s a ‘meth chef’? More important, how much does one cost?”

    NH: “I wonder if we could get A-Rod on the cheap. Nobody’s gonna touch him after he’s suspended. Hmmm… come to think of it, we could stack a pretty good line-up of suspended players; A-Rod, Braun, Cruz, Peralta… I might be onto something here!”

  128. Milo Hamilton says:

    It was aborted. He ended up being damaged goods. It got nixed & we got to keep Gonzo & Freddy Sanchez.

  129. JRay3 says:

    Jared Hughes has a 0.43 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 21 IP at Indy also 18K’s. Has ML experience I would like to see him recalled.

  130. buggee says:

    Totally sorry about your loss Andrew.

  131. PIT-AKR says:

    Starting to (cautiously) get Bucco fever again…

    My era was 1970’s Clemente/Stargell/Parker to 1990’s Bonds/Bonilla/Van Slyke era where the Pirates and Steelers were my Champions. Like many, Bream sliding into home was like Khan Noonien Singh “From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee… For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee…”. Then slowly, year by year, they faded, always with the promise of “next year” which never came. The last two years had teased me with dreams of playoffs or at least a record over 0.500, only to be crushed again. I am hopeful that this FINALLY will be the year!

    I think of my father, now 89 and in failing health. He has witnessed the best (World Champions in 1960, 1972, and 1979) and the worst (Rickey’s Dinks, Drug Trials, 20 years of sub-0.500 ball). But he was always there watching, listening, or attending through it all. Please God, give him one more…

    Beat ‘em Bucs!

  132. buggee says:

    What an awesome post! This totally epitomizes how so many of us feel. Great job hermano

  133. Naterosboro says:

    Ahhhh. Well now…

  134. PIT-AKR says:

    Dejan – my family will be making the trip from Akron to Steelers camp on Sunday – hope to see you there!

  135. JohninOshkosh says:

    I have really enjoyed hearing some of the stories from the younger guys and gals here on the blog.

    Most of us middle aged and older contracted the Pirate bacillus years before the streak.

    It has always amazed me, quite frankly, that anyone who reached the age of reason after 1992 would be a Pirates fan.

    It’s a very nice thing to see. I hope you will post here occasionally. I know how you kids love the twitter and the facethingee, but your input here is greatly appreciated.

  136. JohninOshkosh says:

    Your stuff is ready for the Great White Way, Buggee. Good stuff.

  137. NMR says:

    Great question, 21.

    Sounds like you might be correct.

  138. buggee says:

    Sincerely Yogurt!

  139. Milo Hamilton says:

    He’s been back with Indy since July 14th and hasn’t allowed a run.

  140. buggee says:

    Um not sure what that means, but thank you (bows deeply from the waist)

  141. mmd says:

    With so many mentions of Sid Bream here today, it’s appropriate to mention that he was in the building last night. I wasn’t in my usual seats last night, maybe he is there often.

    I know he was working with State College last year when they were still part of the Pirates farm system.

    All of the local teams have had some postseason heartbreakers since 1990. But clearly the 1992 NLCS was the worst.

  142. Milo Hamilton says:

    Raise the jolly shuttlecock !

  143. Lad9 says:

    Ahh the Pirate memories

    First life recollection is dancing in my grandmothers kitchen when Maz homered. I was 2 so I am sure I didn’t know why but I do remember it.

    The Green Wienie and the ill fated 66 season

    The Joe L Brown show

    My great uncle Jamesy hilariously mispronouncing pitcher Frank Bork’s name

    The Gunner. The best ever.

    Maz. My all time favorite

    “Joseph Ziskind takes your house out of hiding
    Brightens it up with beautiful siding
    No money you’ll be risking when you call Joe Ziskind
    So dial this number and do it quick. Hazel 1-7866…. Hazel 1-7866

    70. Our first division title

    Getting cut from the 7th grade basketball team and finding out after that Bob Roberton hit 3 dingers to bet the Giants in game 2 of the 71 NLCS. Took the sting away

    Blass in Robertson’s arms. Nirvana 1

    Moose wild pitch. Pain

    New Years Day 72. Real pain

    The lumber company

    The Fam-a-lee. Captain Willie. Nirvana 2

    A high school classmate convicted in the drug trials. Chuck Tanner losing control of the clubhouse

    Sammy Khalifa and friends. But looks like Leyland is the real deal

    Van Slyke getting hurt early in 89 and I had a moment of perfect clarity and knew when that happened that the season was lost

    Three division titles. Then Lind, Belinda, Bonds, Cabrera and Bream. Still the gold standard for my most painful sporting event ever. I sat I front of the TV for hours after.

    20 years in jail with a cast of rotating cellmates. Ed Sprague, Derek Bell, Jeremy Burnitz, Matt Morris, Jim Tracy, JR, et al.

    Wanting to drive into McLaughlin Run Creek as David Littlefied told me he drafted a #3 starter named Brian Bullington as the overall number one pick. And even at that he overrated him!

    Aramis and Lofton for no one

    The collapses.

    Now 2013. Hope, chills, thrills, tears, and my favorite season ever. No matter what happens. Thank you Clint and crew. I am loving every second!! Go Buccos!!!

  144. Bob Hasis says:

    Of course; Cry Me a River

  145. Reading says:

    Great post!

  146. Jim S. says:

    Work has gotten in the way this morning, so I am still reading my way through so many great posts. Just wanted to start out by saying what a great article this was today, DK. I mean, really great! Thank you for paying respect to the multitude of Pirates fans who have waited so long to bask in the glow of this great summer of baseball.

    I have been a fan of all things Pittsburgh, including all of the sports teams, since being born there in the late 60’s. My dad and older brothers taught me about the great Bucs that I missed or mostly missed (Clemente, Stargell, etc.), and I have been hooked ever since. I live and die every game of every season with the Steelers, Pens, Pitt football and basketball, and of course – the Bucs even though I moved away in my 20’s for career reasons. I must say, it has been easy rooting for the Steelers and Pens because, as Dejan said, they win far more than share of late. But, hanging with the Bucs takes true love and commitment.

    I said the other day that although I love so many sports (including golf and, yes, soccer!) there really is nothing like pennant chase baseball because it is an everyday thing. This week has been truly amazing for me and my family to experience from afar in Chicagoland. I signed up for the MLB Extra Innings Package on DirecTV in the hope that this would be a great season, and it was the best move I ever made. I will be at PNC with my wife and kids for two games next week, before heading up to Cooperstown to see the Baseball Hall of Fame. Already this season, I (and at least part of my crew each time) have seen the Bucs play in Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Cincinnati and next week in Pittsburgh. My plan is to revisit a few of those cities yet this season, schedule permitting. Might be kind of tough because our older daughter is heading overseas for a big soccer opportunity for a month. But, I will try to see more of the Bucs in person.

    I also want to thank each and every person on this blog who contribute to the banter every day. I enjoy about 99.9% of it, and I like that even our differences are generally resolved amicably. We sometimes come from different angles, experiences and opinions on what the Pirates should do, but I never doubt that everyone wants the same thing for our team and our city!

    Go Bucs!

  147. Matt hoffman says:

    I have been to several games here at Indy and seen Jared pitch on multiple occasions. Every I have seen him pitch, he looks bad, yet pulls a Houdini act and somehow escapes without good pitching. He pitched one inning last night and looked putrid. Jerry Sands bailed him out with an unbelievable assist to the catcher on a hit.

  148. Matt hoffman says:

    I don’t mean to sound disagreeable JRay and he might have the same results if called up, but he has had a lot of luck according to the naked eye, and it is not luck that he created. Just my observation.

  149. Ditto Reading.

    Excellent post.

  150. The Gunner says:

    Your reference to the ill fated 1966 season reminds me of Iron City Beer, one of the major sponsors for the Bucs in ’66. Their slogan was: “This is the year and this is the beer”!

  151. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jerry Sands ?!?!?

  152. Matt hoffman says:

    I couldn’t believe it either. The batter from Scranton hit a single to left field, there appeared to be no chance on throwing out the runner at home (who was previously on second). I was angry that Sands was attempting to throw out the runner at home. In my 42 years, I have not seen a stronger throw to home on the spot! The fans in the stands were buzzing all night about that.

  153. Lad9 says:

    Thank you. I really appreciate all of the knowledge and humor on this forum, and I am truly humbled to participate with folks like you.

  154. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


    Any talk of the Collapse III, Neal Huntington and Clint Hurdle firings, or anything like after last nights loss?

    I’m not sure what’s more entertaining about this blog: actually discussing sports or reading the ones that blast on ANY of the 3 teams after a big/tough loss. Its kind of like reading the yahoo comments section after an “article” on there.

    Either way, last night was disappointing, but big picture is; they took 4/5 against the top (former) team in the division and really showed what they were made of.

  155. Matt hoffman says:

    Check out the video on the Indians website!

  156. philthegroundhog says:

    Dejan and Lunatics,

    I am 61 years old. Born in Pittsburgh and been a lifetime fan of the Pirates, Steelers and Penguins. I was 8 in 1960 and fortunate enough to see the last few innings of the games after school. I lived in Pittock at the time. Our house was under the route planes uses coming to land at Greater Pittsburgh Airport. Every time one flew over, the picture got very fuzzy (rabbit ears days).

    I went away to college in 69, and I’ve never been back to live in Pittsburgh. The Air Force kept me moving for 21 years before I finally retired to Springfield Virginia. Still, over the years I kept up with the sports. I’ve been to see the Pirates in St Louis, Cincinnati, Miami and Washington. Even went to Steelers game in Kansas City. I’ve been back to Pittsburgh for games an Three Rivers, but haven’t made it to PNC Park yet. I did see the Steelers at Heinz Field several years ago. I also have a Blue Penguin from games in 1968. I was at the last game at Forbes, and came away with two seats from the upper deck. My mom still has those seats on her patio in Tampa. I’ll have to ask her if she still has the “Green Weenie!”

    Been a long time reader of Dejan’s, going back to the Post-Gazette days, thanks to the internet. Been a lurker on the blog for years, finally making a few posts last year. I still don’t post much, but I love the banter from the Lunatics. I’m proud to be a real small part of Dejan’s Lunatic Nation.

    DK: Thanks so much for posting and for reading, Phil.

  157. Lad9 says:

    Oh yeah! And a few years later we had Ernie Minster, Jack Isherwood, and of course Big Al Luccioni, who became a cult figure and had his own pizza kit!

  158. Drew71 says:

    A great post, one that is somewhat painful to read.

  159. NMR says:


  160. Ben says:

    I remember a game in mid-season 1979 when the Pirates were down 8-0 and being no-hit after 3 innings. Omar Moreno led off the top of the 4th with a solo HR and you could just feel (even on TV) that the Pirates could come back. Ended up winning 13-12.

  161. Drew71 says:

    Good post, philtherabbit(ears).

    You should post more often.

  162. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, St. Louis really showed us last night, right? They came in with a 1.5 game lead and limp out trailing by 1.5 games. Everything, and I mean everything went well for St. Louis last night in the 6 innings I was able to stomach. A lot of groundballs found holes. The Bucs are not afraid of that team, and this week proved that. We have the more fleet and capable OF. Our pitching matches up well, and I’d say we have the bullpen edge. They have a great hitting lineup (best in the NL), but not much power. I think we will be in this thing to the end, and both teams end up in the playoffs. I hope we end up on top, and I’d say there is a good chance of that happening.

  163. Lad9 says:

    +1. I saw your shadow Phil so that means you have to post for at least another 6 weeks!

  164. Jim S. says:

    Great post, phil! My two older brothers also went to that last game at Forbes, and came home with their seats!

  165. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    You want to hear from us about the Pirates and our feelings? LOL, isn’t that everyday?

    Seriously though, Im too young to remember the World Series teams, all but the 79 series I wasn’t even around yet and for that, I was 2.

    So most of my fond memories of winning seasons are from 88-92. I remember the terrible days of the pre Jim Leyland days (even some of his days sucked too) of the 80’s. The Dale Berra days, Jason Thompson, Johhny Ray, Tony Pena (to this day, still my favorite Pirate off all time), crushed when he was traded to the Cardinals for who became my 2nd favorite Pirate. AVS.

    I went to the games at TRS with my family. I remember going to a game against the Mets, we were late because we were stuck in traffic on 51, seemed to be backed up for miles entering the Liberty Tubes. This was the 88 season when the Buccos were battling back.

    In 1989 we moved from Pittsburgh to Florida. The 3 good years of the Pirates we so from afar. 91 and 92 saw us friends with quite a few Braves fans. They were the team of the south. I still hate the Braves to this day.

    During the terrible years, I’ve tried to move on to other teams, the Rangers when I lived in Oklahoma, Mariners when I was in Alaska, hell even the Braves when I moved to South Carolina and my wife’s team of the Giants, now here in California.

    Can’t do it. Won’t do it. There is too much pride in my black and gold blood to give up on these guys even when there were losing 100+ games a season. Because its not the players that you support, its the name on the front of the jersey.

    I believe in the Pirates anthem of “pride, passion, Pittsburgh Pirates.” That means nothing about Derek Bell, Raul Mondesi, Ronny Cedeno. Its for guys like Wagner, Maz, Stargell, Traynor, and even Cutch. Those guys make this organization Prideful in a town that is bleeds its colors and sweats pride.

    I haven’t lived in Pittsburgh since 1989. I moved when I was 12. Pittsburgh is still home and the Pirates are still my hometown team.

    DK: Jeez, when did Cedeno fall into that class?

  166. JRay3 says:

    Matt – did not take it that way at all, you can provide an eye witness account whereas I only could look at the numbers. You have a great perspective to provide on it.

    I like Hughes and I don’t think this stage is to big for him as it might be for Black at this point. Hughes needs his sinker to have movement and bite to be effective if that is not the case or if has lost velocity I would be concerned.

  167. Lad9 says:

    My take also. Well said Jim.

  168. philthegroundhog says:

    I remember what Jandy wrote about me during the April snow!

  169. NMR says:

    Funny conversations in hindsight:

    “The RF/1B “logjam””, circa winter ’13

    “How will Jerry Sands ever get his chance?” – said nobody after April

  170. philthegroundhog says:

    Thanks, Drew. philtherabbit(ears) is very funny.

  171. Jim S. says:

    Incredible post, Lad. But, Bobby Hill has a bone to pick with you about the ARam/Lofton trade.

  172. NMR says:

    The advent of online newspaper comment sections has decreased my faith in humanity.

    It’s like reading me on DK’s blog, except I’m talking about things that actually matter.

  173. philthegroundhog says:

    My brother and I had to beat the legs hard to loosen up the bolts. So many people were banging on the seats that it sounded like a construction site. I was surprised the many cops and ushers did not stop any of us. Fun memories.

  174. Jim S. says:

    + many. Hope your dad gets that “one more.” Heck, I hope he gets several more.

  175. OldSoldier21 says:

    I read Dejan’s blog daily (have since it was the “PBC Blog” in the other paper), rarely post anymore. I enjoyed your column as usual today, Dejan. For the younger generation of fans, I truly hope you get to witness not just a partial or one season, but a decade or more of great Pirates baseball; as I did during the 60’s and 70’s. There really is something special about that.

    Baseball was my first true love. When I was a kid, we played ball every dry day during the summer, and even a few wet ones, mimicking our favorite Pirate players. Heck, I didn’t even know “girls” existed until I went into the army. I know — sad, but true.

    At one time, I bled Pirate black and gold. Roberto Clemente was, and to this day is one of my heroes. I will never forget December 31, 1972 – one of the saddest days of my life was learning of his untimely death on New Year’s day, 1973. Perhaps even more pathetic than not noticing the opposite gender until my late teens, was my successful pursuit of convincing my new bride that it would be fine to spend our honeymoon with my old girlfriend (the Pirates). So we spent the opening home stand of the 1994 season at TRS, often in cold rain.

    While deployed overseas, I would stay up into the wee hours of the morning to see the Bucs play on AFN. I could not wait to get my hands on a copy of “Stars and Stripes” to see where the Bucs were in the standings – even though it was usually a month old by the time it made it to us in faraway lands.

    The past 20 years of futility have taken its toll on me as a fan. I am now a mere interested observer. While happy that the team is doing well, the analytical part of me knows the putrid record of Neal Huntington’s teams after the non-waiver trade deadline. Putrid may be too kind as a description. The addition of Travis Snider and Gaby Sanchez last year was the final nail (for me) when I heard the trades were made for “years of control.” So, all things considered, I will withhold “going all in” until the deal is sealed (actually making the playoffs). Color me skeptical, but hopeful that the 2013 Pirates truly are for real.

    DK: Thank you, sir.

  176. Jim S. says:

    Well said, Keith.

  177. Jim S. says:

    With the velocity down, I wonder if he is still fighting some sort of injury.

  178. Jim S. says:

    Beat Milo to it, NMR.

  179. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m not sure of the division, though that should be the goal, but I think I will be in the playoffs.

    I think the best thing the team, and fans for that matter, got out of this series was a confidence booster. I’m sure the Cards know what they can do and what they have, but the Pirates might not have been there yet. To win a series against those guys, the way that they did proves to them and us that they can beat anybody in the league.

  180. philthegroundhog says:

    OldSoldier, you reminded me about the AAFES movie theaters overseas showing the highlights of the games. The highlights were usually 3 or 4 weeks old by then. Because they were so far behind, we were still able to get excited watching them.

  181. Jim S. says:

    Great line by your wife, Beat ‘em!

  182. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m not sure which ones are better, Yahoo or CNN’s.

  183. Jim S. says:

    That decision killed me because I have him in a HR pool. Ugh!!

  184. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    AFN- Did they have the really lame commercials back then too?

  185. buggee says:

    He goes to my church

  186. philthegroundhog says:

    Yes, many of them featured Miss Connie Rodd.

  187. Jim S. says:


    You, my friend, are a true fan! If they get there, Matt, you remind me and we will connect off-line and I will send you a gas card that is burning a hole in my pocket! I promise you that. Would not want you to miss for something like that when there’s an easy fix!

  188. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Waaay before my time. Now they feature regular military members…so, so bad.

  189. SeattleMatthew says:

    I still remember being in college in 1998 and hearing the news about the Brian Giles trade. I was so excited. I remember getting online on terrible computers back when the internet was first getting popular and analyzing the Pirates’ record on a daily basis.

    I knew they were bad, but then I found out about the new stadium being built, and I just knew they were going to get good…soon. And I was going to be that long-suffering fan who could say he lived through all the bad (7 years at the time) and now got to experience the good.

    Little did I know.

    It’s amazing to me how quickly time flies and how 1998 doesn’t feel like that long ago (I must be getting old). On the other hand, when you consider that 1998 was six years after their most recent winning season, and 15 years before this season, I guess it’s quite a long time.

    I guess I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for hanging on this long, especially after two painful seasons the last two years. I remember getting out my broom in 1997 when the Pirates swept the Astros in July. Ugh, so many memories, but so much failure.

    It’s amazing to see them finally play well again. I haven’t felt this way about the Pirates since I can remember. I’ve been a Pirates fan this whole time, but it certainly hasn’t been easy.

    Most importantly, I will admit I had tears in my eyes Wednesday night watching the Buccos score a run in the bottom of the 8th and win it on a strikeout in the 9th. ESPN was there, talking about the energy in the ballpark, the beauty of the atmosphere, and a 2.5 game lead over the Cardinals. To see that all play out on national TV made me so proud for the team that I have always loved. It’s been an excruciatingly long time coming, but that’s what makes it all the sweeter now that it’s here.

  190. Jim S. says:

    To Matt Hoffman, who posted earlier about diligently saving gas money & for other expenses on a minister’s salary to go to PNC if/when the Bucs play at home in the playoffs: You are a true fan! You absolutely cannot miss that game. When the Bucs make it, please remind me on here, and we can connect off-line. I have a gas card or two that have gone unused, and will be honored to send your way. Can’t have you missing something so rare!

  191. John Lease says:

    Who can? Ameri-can!

  192. OldSoldier21 says:

    LOL – Good reminder phil! The sports scores and news are always fresh for soldiers today. This internet thing and satellite TV makes that possible. Skype is something I would have killed for while stationed Somalia.

  193. philthegroundhog says:

    Connie Rodd was a breathless young women who would give vehicle maintainance tips to the young soldiers. Imagine this in a breathless whisper: “Remember, soldiers, flush your radiators regularly so you tank will keep running.”
    In Good Morning, Vietnam, you can hear several of these commercials in the background. Since I was in the Air Force during that era, I can pick them out all the time. Brings back many memories and smiles.

  194. Jim S. says:

    I don’t think they ever told me how everyone got their seats taken apart. They said the ushers allowed it all to go on. That was before teams decided to sell this stuff and donate to charity.

  195. Matt hoffman says:

    Thank you Jim. I am humbled by such a generous offer!!!

  196. Jim S. says:

    Was that the Phils at the Vet, Ben.

    I recall a huge comeback there that season. That’s when I truly believed. I thought it was a Saturday, but things get blurry from that far back.

  197. Jim S. says:

    I always enjoy your posts, Nor Cal. This one was one of the best.

  198. NMR says:

    The really scary part is that those are just the comments that make it through screening.

    I had a conversation with one of the reporters at the other local paper over the winter and he just shook his head when I asked what it is like to have reviewing duties.

  199. Jim S. says:

    Thanks for your service to this country, Old Soldier. Hang in there with this team. There are pretty bright days now, and I believe they’ll get even brighter the next few years.

  200. Jim S. says:

    It’s really nothing, Matt. Very glad to do it for anyone that serves a greater cause. And, the fact that you are a die hard Bucs fan makes it even more of a no brainer. We have a deal.

  201. Tom P. says:

    Jim, I hope your daughter has a good experience overseas. I think everyone who has a chance to go (whether for sports, school or other reason) ought to do it. I was living in Germany during the summer of 1988 as the Pirates were trying to chase down the Mets. During August, I remember waking up in the morning before games had finished on the West Coast. Thanks for your articulate contributions to this blog, and enjoy a few more games in person this year.

  202. Eric Bowser says:

    Pirates made the right move…

    Vic Black to AAA
    Jared Hughes recalled

  203. OldSoldier21 says:

    Jim — Thank you for your comment, I loved my time in uniform.

  204. Tom P. says:


    You are right. It was the Phillies on a Saturday, but I do not know if it was home or away. I have a vague memory about getting dragged away from the Game of the Week (imagine that, one game on TV a week) by my parents to go to the local shopping mall, and checking the score on the radio when we got back to the car.

  205. Jim S. says:

    I’m there with you, Mizery! Between Milwaukee, Cincy, St. Louis, and here in Chicago this year – I found Cubs fans to be the worst at treating guests. Kind of hard to fathom, since they have not exactly had the greatest of fortunes for … oh … the last 105 years or so!

  206. OldSoldier21 says:

    Happy “Anti-Christmas” day!

  207. warhorse2 says:

    Broadway theater is sometimes called “the great white way.”

  208. Milo Hamilton says:

    I love it when we’re right.

  209. radio wave says:

    As one of the johnny come lately “bandwagoners” from Connecticut, it is amazing to experience all of this. I have been in Western PA for nine years, the Burgh for the last eight. Two years ago, it was great to watch the joy of the locals. Last year wasn’t the same because there was the fear, and the reality of collapse 2. This year feels different, and better than the last two. I took the attitude before the season, with no expectations, that if by chance the team did well, I wouldn’t consider it real until Labor Day. Now it’s August 2, a month too soon, but it feels real. I temper my optimisim with the fact that there still is a third of the season to go. And it doesn’t feel like this team will collapse. But if you had asked any St. Louis fan or media person if the Cards would lose 7 in a row they would have said no. So it could still happen. I skipped many a high school class to go to Shea Stadium in 69 for the Miricle Mets. And that historic chase to a pennant didn’t start until August 13. But that feeling was totally different, no previous history to amplify the accomplishment. I’m going tonight, expecting another win. Countdown to 82, and the playoffs continues.

  210. CeeHowUR says:

    I was born in Chicago and followed the Cubbies in the late 60’s and early 70’s. I knew the lineup by heart (Kessinger, Beckert, Williams, Banks, Santos,Hickman, Hundley, Jenkins). I remember my dad taking off work to take me to Wrigley Field once or twice a year, otherwise I was watching every home game on tv in the afternoon during the summer. I used to run out and get the paper to check the box scores before I learned how to read in school.
    In 1972 we moved to Pittsburgh and expectations were completely different. It didn’t take me long to change my loyalties once I was educated about the players from my next door neighbor. We’d listen to the Gunner and learn his sayings, such as “Chicken on the Hill with Will”, and “By a Nat’s Eyelash”. One of the first games I attended ended with a walk off home run by Stargell and I was hooked! I was still in high school when we won the World Series in 1979, but I appreciated that because I really knew the players by that point.
    I moved to VA in 1989 and continued to follow the team. I can still remember my wife slamming her hand on the ironing board in tears when we lost the playoff game in 1992. We had been married less than a year, but I found out she takes her sports even more seriously than me. After all, I had suffered through the Cubs, so I had learned how to keep my emotions on a more even keel. Baseball was always my favorite sport growing up, but over the years I grew to appreciate Football and Hockey more (Wonder why?) . But I still followed the Pirates in newspapers or online. When they built the new stadium I was amazed at the view. I made it a point to get tickets for my parents anniversary just so our whole family could all attend a game in the new stadium. Even had dinner in the Outback restaurant before the game.
    I suppose it’s a defense mechanism to keep from being too disappointed, but I try to remain skeptical regarding their chances. At the beginning of the season I would have been happy being over .500 . Past performance has me watching for a signal of an impending collapse. As each day goes by, my optimism slowly grows. I think the winning record is just about locked up. And I don’t want to be greedy, but I want them to make the playoffs. But my past experiences won’t allow me to get truly excited until I see where we are at after Labor Day. Games like last night scare me and I keep thinking I’ve seen this before. I hope to make it a point in the future to get back Home to see a game.

  211. warhorse2 says:

    Is he still doing his penance for ’92?

  212. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m singing the Joe Ziskind jingle even as we speak. Thanks Conchita !

  213. Jim S. says:

    Was she later on LA Law? Or, am I mis-remembering?

  214. Jim S. says:

    I was not old enough for Forbes, unfortunately, grandpa. But, your story makes me wish I had been.

  215. Jim S. says:

    Nancy! Loved this post! My wish is that someday my kids will remember how I introduced them to Pirates baseball as fondly as you speak of how your dad introduced you.

  216. Jim S. says:

    You’ll still be singing it at this time tomorrow, too.

  217. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Tom P. Much appreciated!

  218. Lad9 says:

    He can have Matt Brubeck and Jose Hernandez help him pick it. Hernandez will pick and miss and Brubeck went MIA 10 minutes after we got him. Incredible deal- for the Cubbies.

  219. Jim S. says:

    Parents can be so cruel! Moms picked especially bad times in those days to decide to take kids “school clothes shopping” – at least, I know my mom did.

  220. Jim S. says:

    + a billion!

  221. Jim S. says:

    Reese McGuire was named GCL Player of the Month for July. That young man is off to a great start, both with the bat and behind the dish. He threw 4 guys out attempting to steal in a game earlier this week.

    And, Austin Meadows, after getting off to a slow start, has been hitting lights out for the past few weeks also. Tons of XBH and walks!

    They are just the most recognizable names out of a slew of newcomers off to solid starts, which is good to see.

    Let’s hope that stuff continues!

  222. Lad9 says:

    Do you remember this one?

    “What can one man do my friend?
    What can one man do?
    To fight pollution in the air
    That’s closing in from anywhere

    Well there’s lead free gasoline my friend
    And the name is Amoco”

    Can’t remember the rest but that one haunts me also. :)

  223. Jim S. says:

    So, are the Mets in your rearview mirror, radio? Or, just on hiatus?

  224. warhorse2 says:

    Excellent front page column today, DK. You touched several heartstrings. Thanks for it.
    Though I’ve never lived in Pittsburgh and have visited there once in my lifetime, I’ve been a fanatical Pirates fan since 1947.
    That was the year my Dad got back from Europe and we moved to Ohio–a tiny town in the central part of the state called Kings Mills, pop. 600. Dad and I would sit in the family car and listen to the Pirates’ night games on KDKA. Those were long, losing years when the most you could hope for was that Ralph Kiner would hit more than 50 HRs and maybe Bob Friend would pitch a winning game. Once in a while, when the Pirates came to play games in Cincinnati, the whole family would pile into the car and Dad would drive us down to Crosley Field to watch a double-header. You can imagine the heartbreak it was for a kid like me to watch and listen to all those lost games and losing seasons. “Cellar dwellers,” was one of the terms the newspapers used to describe the Pirates, year after year.
    In 1960, Dad and I got to watch the three middle games of the World Series at Yankee Stadium because we lived nearby. In 1971, my wife and I tuned in on a short wave radio in the middle of the night to listen to the 7th game of the WS from London, where we lived and worked. In 1979, my boss heard the story of how my Dad had never been to Pittsburgh to see a Pirates’ game, though he had been a fan since 1926, and saw to it that Dad and I got to watch the three middle games of the WS from the sponsor’s box next to the broadcast booth behind and above home plate. Later, Dad said it was the happiest time of his life.
    Dad was a fan because as a 10-year-old, he was befriended by the young shortstop for the Class B Bridgeport, Connecticut, Bears, a teenager named Dick Bartell, who said to him outside the stadium before every home game where Dad was selling newspapers, “Hey, Red, do you want to carry my glove in?” Unable to afford a ticket, Dad got to carry Bartell’s glove and hawk his papers inside the field. The next year (1927), Bartell got called up to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Though he played very little that year, Bartell made it with the team to the World Series. And we all know what happened then.
    I live in semi-retirement in England. I subscribe to MLB-TV and get to watch every pitch, every hit, every game, though I may not be able to stay awake into the wee hours of the morning. To see the team lose, especially a close one, still hurts as much now as it did way back when.
    It hurt last year to have to eat the tickets I’d bought for the final series of the season at home with Cincy. Had booked the hotel and everything. Cancelled the trip to Pittsburgh.
    Now, my day starts with Morning Java, for which I am extremely grateful, both for DK’s stellar insights, good reporting and fine writing, and for the posts by all of you on this delightfully entertaining blogsite.
    If the Buccos make it to the post season, I’ll be in Pittsburgh, like so many of you, to cheer them on.

  225. Lad9 says:

    Cedeno fell into that class when he bunted on his own twice in one week with two outs and the bases loaded.

  226. Lad9 says:

    What Jim said Old Soldier and Phil. Thank you. The only group I pull for more than the Buccos is the US Armed Forces. Bless you.

  227. radio wave says:

    in the rear view mirror.

  228. Jim S. says:

    Keep the faith, Cee. It’ll be ok.

    I live outside of Chicago, and my wife was raised on the Cubs. Her dad passed away a few years ago, but he was a truly wonderful man who accepted me right away even though I rooted for the wrong team (in his view). I have brought my wife completely over to the Pittsburgh side in football and hockey, and she reallly enjoys the Bucs as well – except when they play the Cubs. She said she just can’t give them up, after all those after-school days watching them on WGN as a kid. I respect that about her a great deal. Even still, I have won all the kids over to the Pirates over the years!

    I even told my wife that my #2 baseball team is a Chicago team, and that should please her. She said, “The Cubs?” I said, “Umm … no. I meant the Sox.” That sort of infuriated her, so I keep that under wraps and urge the children not to follow my path on that one. We need to keep some peace in the house, after all.

  229. Bob Hasis says:

    There is a lot of beautiful nostalgia being wafted around the blog today. Who among you can remember anything about

    1.Aunt Minnie – the mythical lady who always failed when we hit a HR
    2. FOB – bases loaded, thus, Full of Bucs
    3.Fanned the breeze – struck out
    4. Doozie marooney or a doozie doozie marooney, a double or a trip trip triple, for us.
    5. The mind was willing, but the legs were weak – attempted steal and thrown out
    6. Put em’ and take em off – a walk or single then a double play by the Pirates
    7. Get in out of the garden, get upstairs and raise the window, here it comes (then would be heard were a series of strange sounds created by kids toys to “indicate” something in flight (a ball), a crash of broken glass – the ball going through the window), and then the final line – she never made it, tripped over the garden hose, a round tripper for Ralph Kiner, i.e.

    Explanation: 1 and 7 go together, and this simulation was created in the studios of the Keystone Hotel, later to become the Sherwyn Hotel, which is now part of Point Park University on Wood St., when the Pirates were on the road. All road games were recreated via teletype or ticker (with about a minute delay), thus the HR call could be set up.

    Some of this may seem or sound hokey, but this is my first recollection of Pirate baseball – thus it’s hard to forget. Besides Kiner, Hank Greenberg for a brief time, Rip Sewell’s blooper pitch (ephus) which Ted Williams unceremoniously ended in Detroit, the All-Star Game, when he blasted it over the roof in right, there wasn’t a lot of good stuff to be happy about (akin to 1973, 1992, 2011 and 2012).

    There must have been more of Rosey’s personalized calls, but this is what I do recall.

  230. CeeHowUR says:

    My mom is the same way. If we talked about going to a Pirate game, she’d ask when do the Cubs come to town?

    MY new boss is from Chicago, but once I found out she was a WS fan I kept quiet about my Cubbie past. I do value my job.

  231. Jim S. says:


    I remember a little bit of the very end of Gunner’s reign, but Rosey was before my time. I’ll bet my dad and mom (if she were still with us) could sit and talk with you for hours about this stuff. You’ve been a baseball fan for a long time, and I really admire your old school common sense about the game.

  232. Bob Hasis says:

    Thank you for that – my recall goes back to 1943, when I was 8.

  233. Jim S. says:


    My son played in a tournament last year in Cincinnati, and near where we stayed is a field that contains the remnants of Old Crosley Field. They repaired/restored the 1st/3rd base side seating areas, installed the original light standards, and had the OF wall refurbished. I believe they play HS games there.

    Your second visit to Pittsburgh is imminent! I can feel it.

  234. Jim S. says:

    My dad has you by just a few years! He is loving this season, as am I.

  235. buggee says:

    ahhh, well thank you. I am now edumacated.
    Broadway?!?!? Wow!
    Is fame and fortune soon to be my bane?
    ‘Nevermore’ sayeth the raven.
    where’s jandylicious when ya need a snappy one-liner?

    A friend was having gastrointestinal “difficulties” while at a highly visible dinner party recently, to which he yelled (while sprinting), –wait for it–
    “Clear the deck, cannonball comin’!”
    Seriously. This is one I did NOT make up!

    Hoist it then spank it with catgut

  236. Jim S. says:

    That’s funny … and true!

    A common refrain in Chicago, as you probably recall, is when you hear about something stupid that someone did is to say “Must have been a Cubs fan.” Or, conversely, “Must have been a Sox fan.” Depends on your perspective, I guess.

  237. buggee says:

    he was actually working as a “Greeter” a couple of weekends ago.

  238. Bob Hasis says:

    This is like 1960, when I first realized what winning a pennant then WS, was all about. Really exciting stuff.

    I recall the 70’s as well

    Yes, I am not too old to be, or to get, excited

  239. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I dont know if that job would be fun or not….You definetly need a good sense of humor. Problem is, I’d probably let the wrong ones in.

  240. theplanisworking says:

    + heaven and earth …………….. to get those gas cards to Matt.

  241. theplanisworking says:

    Is that like………. “when your plan comes together” ??

  242. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Thanks Jim.

  243. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Got me, I meant Paulino….

  244. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Phil, I’m currently in the AF.

    That was definetly a hidden meaning behind that phrase and a different time to be in. Way to PC these days for anything like that.

  245. Jim S. says:

    Gotta love the old bases loaded bunt. Force at any base! Ugh!!!

  246. Jim S. says:

    Living in Chicago made that trade all the more painful! Excrutiating!

  247. Jim S. says:

    We can only hope it ends like ’60, Bob. That had to be one of the most amazing teams of all time.

  248. Reading says:


  249. JD says:

    Phil, Old soldier and Nor Cal Ryan – Thanks for all you did/still do. God Bless the USA!

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News