Past Pirates maintain present support

Typical Pirates. All the negative Nancies couldn’t move their fingers fast enough to eke out this short, belittling statement as their Facebook status after the Pittsburgh Pirates gave up a three-run lead in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game.

Zack McDermott, sports editor

Boy, even people from The City of Champions are quick to slash the sails on the ship of these Pirates.  

Show some respect, sheesh.

The Pirates are arguably the city’s greatest franchise.

But if you ask the kids walking around Waldron Campus Center today, they’d scoff at the Buccos and falsely tell you that the Steelers and Penguins are the Steel City’s primary love interests.

These poor Pittsburgh proponents have no idea that the Penguins have been largely irrelevant in the NHL for 34 of its 42 seasons as a franchise or ignore the fact the Steelers had a 25-year playoff drought of their own.  

Those who only remember the past 18 Pirate seasons are the same people who remember John F. Kennedy for the Bay of Pigs or Marilyn Monroe.

The “typical Pirates” I grew up learning about wouldn’t have given up the late-game rally to the Chicago Cubs.

Shortstop Honus Wagner would’ve used one of his 3,400 career hits to smack in the game-winning run, or right fielder Roberto Clemente would’ve made a nonchalant basketball catch to break up the rally.

Although Wagner and Clemente can no longer hit balls out of the park for the Pirates, they’ve done a better job than president Frank Coonley at selling the Buccos’ brand.

The Flying Dutchman and The Great One remind people that baseball, specifically good baseball, did exist in Pittsburgh before the Pirates’ sub-.500 season streak started – a fact that few in my generation like to acknowledge.

Despite being the losers in the first modern World Series in 1903, the Pirates have a storied history of winning.

The Buccos have won five championships since 1876.  But that isn’t all  those victories combine to form the best – winning percentage of any team that has reached the Fall Classic five times.

Not to mention that some of the greatest names in baseball history – Wagner, Clemente, Barry Bonds, Ralph Kiner, Bill Mazeroski, Paul Waner and Willie Stargell – all donned the Golden P in their career.

That’s why, despite the hazing I receive year after year, I’m proud to be a Pirate fanatic. Recent success isn’t a barometer of how I measure my favorite teams.

I know that things literally cannot get any worse. It’ll turn around eventually, and I believe that this ownership is set to make it happen sooner rather than later.

I long for the day that I can sit in PNC Park on a cold October night and watch the Pirates win one of many more World Series.

And when that day comes, I’ll be thinking what everyone else has been saying for the past 18 years.

Typical Pirates.


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