The first Pittsburgh Pirates game I attended was some time in the early 1990’s when Pittsburgh held their games in
Three Rivers Stadium. I must have been 7 or 8 years old and I don’t remember caring too much about baseball, but my father’s enthusiasm for the Pirates had planted its seed. The wonders of a big city outside of our small farm town arrested my young mind and initiated a love affair with Pittsburgh. I still have hazy recollections of a pre-steroid Barry Bonds flapping his glove against his leg before catching a fly ball in the outfield. Whether our Pirates won or lost that night against the New York Mets, I can’t remember and I don’t know that it matters. My mother had a co-worker with connections in the city that got us a room at a nice hotel whose manager gave my brother and me our very first Pirates hats. Since that game, it seems as though I came to the understanding that that is what you do, root for the Pirates. You live in the Bingman house. You root for the Pittsburgh Pirates and hope that maybe this season they’ll have a few more wins than losses. That said, we fans of the Buccos have had some really tough years…decades. I often tell folks that being a Pirates fan is a disease that I inherited. Like my father, I curse and wonder the moves of the management, yet embrace the hope that new players bring. Being a Pirates fan is like watching your child engage in a sport at which he lacks a profound ability to excel, yet you continue to support him, attend his games, and cheer him on because you know he’s trying and loves to play. Who else will stick by him? Now imagine him returning next season with a new spark and out of nowhere, he begins to exceed all expectations. You don’t know how to feel. You’re elated yet wonder how long this can last. This is the 2011 season of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Prove us wrong. Come back. We love you.
Hannah and her Dad