It’s been 21-years since Pittsburgh Pirates’ fans have enjoyed October baseball, with many of the younger Bucco fans never seeing a season in which the Pirates actually had a winning record. Not only do the Pirates have a winning record this season, but they have a chance at winning the National League Central pennant as they are tied with Cincinnati at only two games behind St. Louis with five games to go in the regular season.
What very well could have been a scene straight out of Major League with Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger at the plate instead of Russell Martin, the Pirates won yesterday’s game against the Cubs in a way that only Hollywood could dream up. The final out of the game came at home plate with a great play by Pittsburgh’s star catcher…and there was much rejoicing.
“Even though I didn’t lose for the last 20 years, they make you feel like you are. You feel like you lost those 20 years,” Andrew McCutchen said. “That’s all you hear. You hear it every single day — ‘When’s it going to change? You think this is the year?’ You get sick and tired of hearing that. It’s awesome that there won’t be any questions anymore. The question is, ‘Are we going to be able to go farther?’”
The early 90′s teams in Pittsburgh were all Buccos, winning three straight NL East titles from 1990-92. When Barry Bonds packed his bags for San Francisco and the small-budget Pittsburgh Pirates couldn’t afford suitable replacements, the losing streak began…and it seemed to go on forever. 20 consecutive losing seasons is currently the longest streak of the four major professional sports (baseball, hockey, football, and basketball). The team the Pirates beat yesterday, the Chicago Cubs, haven’t won a World Series since 1908 (about the same time the Ford Model-T was introduced), but it has only been five years since the Cubs won their second straight division title.
The Pirates have never had a winning season in their new ballpark, PNC Park, which was constructed in 2001. The beautiful stadium is arguably the best ballpark in all of Major League Baseball due to it’s expert craftsmanship and quality construction, which pays homage to the early ballparks of baseball such as Forbes Field, Wrigley Field, and Fenway Park, while embracing the reemergence of the city of Pittsburgh.
Only time will tell as per how far into the playoff the Pittsburgh Pirates will make it, but for right now, the Buccos (and the entire city of Pittsburgh) are riding an emotional high…and it’s a great day to RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER!