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Favorite Pirates memories

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Posted: 09/04/2013 5:09 AM

Favorite Pirates memories 


Now that most of us will put last night's game in the file, I'm curious what are some of the best you've seen.  I've been going to games since 1990, at Three Rivers, at PNC, Riverfront, GABP, and Progressive.  I have more than a few, but here are my top:

1.  First game, June 25, 1990:  5-0, Bucs.  Rick Reed was dominant.  I had never been in a place so loud in my life.  12 years old, and I fell in love with the Black and Gold.  Jose Lind had a huge triple, Bonds had a double, we sat in right field, behind my favorite player--Bonilla--and saw my first win.

2.  2nd game--July 28, 1990:  Bucs lost, 4-3, but I saw my first major league home runs--Von Hayes, Charlie Hayes, Bobby Bonilla, and Andy Van Slyke.

3.  A game in July or August 1992:  Doug Drabek against Frank Castillo for the Cubs.  The Bucs were flat, losing 3-0 nearly the whole game.  Dad wanted to leave, so we did in the 8th.  I get home, turn on the TV and see the Bucs scored 4 in the bottom of the 8th.  Oops.

4.  Division clinching win in 1992.  Don't remember too much about this one, except some guy was handing out flyers begging us to chant "Please Stay Barry!" during Bonds's at bats.  I remember a distinct crowd nearby saying "Screw You, Barry!"  Belinda with the save...who knew that was the last winner for so long?

5.  1993...some time against the Marlins.  Tom Prince.  Inside the park home run.  Seriously.

There was really nothing else of note for years.  Most games I went to the Pirates got smacked around.  There was a Sky Blast we went to, I want to say in 2008, that every time I'd trash a player, he'd hit a homer.  Bautista, Kata, and I think Paulino.  Still lost, but 5 or 6 bombs that night between the Bucs and Phillies.

6.  2012, Father's Day:  Pedro was epic.  2 HR, nearly hit a 3rd near the end of the game.  Indians fans were unconscionably stupid--at least near me--not understanding that the coaches at 1st and 3rd base could not score for them.  No kidding.

7.  September 29, 2012:  first time I'd ever seen a walk-off.  I thought PNC was going to collapse when Cutch's hit sailed over the RCF wall.  We were in SRO, and my feet hurt like hell, but that erased it.
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Posted: 09/04/2013 6:52 AM

Re: Favorite Pirates memories 


Thanks for the memories, Samalifagus.

I would only add July 1997.  Took a friend in from out of town to see the Freak Show.  Got there late and was in the upper deck at Three Rivers.  Amazingly, we watched Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon pitch a combined no-hitter against the Astros, and Mark Smith's three-run homer was a thrilling way to end it.

___________

 

  

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Posted: 09/04/2013 7:39 AM

Re: Favorite Pirates memories 



gr1111 wrote: Thanks for the memories, Samalifagus.

I would only add July 1997.  Took a friend in from out of town to see the Freak Show.  Got there late and was in the upper deck at Three Rivers.  Amazingly, we watched Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon pitch a combined no-hitter against the Astros, and Mark Smith's three-run homer was a thrilling way to end it.

THAT was a phenomenal game.  Smith was a really good "supporting actor" type.  Neither Cordova nor Rincon had long careers, but before they fell off due to arm problems they were both better than average pitchers. 


My first big league game was during the 1979 season.  Jim Rooker started for the Pirates and won.  I was 12 years old and started calling for Kent Tekulve in, like, the 5th inning, when Rooker got in some trouble.  A nice older lady who was sitting nearby shushed me, saying, "Quiet! You'll rattle him!"  So, I shut up.  The Pirates, and Rooker, won. 


I saw another game in the early 90s at Three Rivers.  I'm thinking that this might have been in 1993.  Bob Walk started and came up to hit.  He really turned on a pitch.  He hit it well back into the seats down the left field line and everybody was cheering because they thought it was a home run.  Unfortunately it was just foul.  Walk hit all of 1 home run during his career, so I watched him nearly double his career total.  I know, not much of a memory, but there ya go.


Jumping all over the timeline here, but I went to a game in 1989 or 1990 with a college buddy of mine who is now an attorney in Hollidaysburg, PA.  We saw the Pirates play the Mets.  I believe the Mets won the game, but what he and I remember most is 1) there was a Pirates fan at the game who had a "I Love NY" T-shirt on, but instead of the heart, there was a heart with a "no" sign overlaying it.  Haha!  That was back when the Pirates were running radio commercials making fun of people from Noo Yawk.  2) Some guy sitting near us kept shouting, over and over, "Where Mookie at?! Where Mookie at?!?" throughout the ballgame.  So, every so often to this day, I call my buddy's law office, and when he answers the phone, I pause for a second just so he puts his ear closer to the phone, and then I shout, "WHERE MOOKIE AT??!?"  Sadly, we've yet to be able to answer the question.
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Posted: 09/04/2013 7:52 AM

Re: Favorite Pirates memories 


Here are my two favorites from the 70's:

August 8, 1970 vs. New York Mets.  My first game.  Clemente hits a home run.  http://www.baseball-almanac.co...id=197008080PIT

August 12, 1977 vs. New York Mets. Felix Millán was forced to retire after sustaining a shoulder injury during an on-field brawl in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ed Ott slid hard into Millán trying to break up a double play, Millán shouted at Ott and hit him with a baseball in his hand, and Ott answered by slamming him hard to the turf at Three Rivers Stadium, severely injuring his shoulder.
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Posted: 09/04/2013 10:22 AM

Re: Favorite Pirates memories 


This is what is lost with all the arguments about who knows more than who, etc., and that is just what a wonderful game baseball is.  I have never had a bad day at the ball park.  I have nothing but fond memories of going with my Dad, then with my boys, then with my Dad AND boys.  It's a generational thing. 

The beauty of the game is the pace, in my opinion.  I go to college football games, too, and have a great time, but the action is so fast and intense, that I often forget I'm with others there.  Baseball lends itself to the memories that last a lifetime. 

I remember nearly everything from my first game; I have long been able to recite the Bucs' starting lineup from memory.  I remember what it felt like when I first saw the green of the turf, hearing the pop of the catcher's mitt, the crack of the bat, and the very loud cheers for the Pirates.

I have seen a lot of bad baseball teams during my time as a fan.  WHYGAVS did do a remarkable job on the 79 wins, 80 wins, etc., blog posts capturing what it was like for me as a fan.  I remember when I was at the Air Force Academy as a doolie in 1996 begging one of the cadre for updates on the Pirates...oh, how they pitied me!  Yet, being a fan has never been a bad thing. 

When all is said and done, fellas, I hope that those of you who have kids are able to share it like I have, or call your Dad--or whoever planted the seed--and share some fond memories.  I got to take my Dad to a game on Father's Day in 2010 against the Indians, and it was just like the first game on June 25, 1990...same feeling, except we were discussing the game with my boys and teaching them.  Now, they join me in the basement and cheer.  Shoot, my wife has caught the fever somewhat, joining me last night to see the final outs to get #81.

Boys, this is a special year.  Next year, 2015, whatever...they do not matter today.  Enjoy it now.  We'll worry about tomorrow when it gets here.
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Posted: 09/04/2013 12:19 PM

Re: Favorite Pirates memories 


Unfortunately, there are way more bad memories than good. I am a 70's child, so I can remember the last world series victory. Then the 80's, there was not many good memories in that decade. But that was my youth. I still have the numerous score cards I would watch and fill out during games. My favorite player back then was Jason Thompson.

When the team started playing well again in the last 80's, the excitement was awesome. I was in high school. I remember leaving early to catch the early playoff games. I was at the Three Rivers the day they clinched there 3rd division title in a row. Those 3 years were exciting. However, it's sad that the lasting memory is Bream crossing home plate. And since that slide, there was not many great memories.

The Brian Giles catch in left a few years ago, Rob Macks big night during the double header, The Dunston HR's, to name a few good memories from the losing era.

To date, my best memory is this season as a whole. After so much pain, this group of guys is so fun to watch. Cutch is exactly what you want for a role model. The team is filled with simply good guys. Gilli, Barmes, one word describes men like this and that is pros. (as was said in the telecast last night) I have never been more proud of a team I cheer for. If I see the Pirates jumping on the field this year for something like the division title, or even more, I will shead a tear each time. Just so much emotion of 20 years that I will not be embarressed to be a grown man crying at a baseball game.

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Posted: 09/04/2013 1:03 PM

Re: Favorite Pirates memories 


Cutch's first game against the Mets at PNC.

Garrett Jones 2 Hrs in an extra inning game to beat the Giants when Linceum pitched.
Final score 2-1 (All you can eat seats was a double whammy)

Hey, I'm only 25 biggrin
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Posted: 09/04/2013 1:13 PM

Re: Favorite Pirates memories 


I'm newer so my Pirates memories don't run that deep, but I did really enjoy AJ's first start when he squared around to bunt and the whole ballpark gasped. 

It was cool watching Marte's 1st AB from home with my girlfriend. Opening day this year we was sitting in 115 R and there was a woman with a very nasal voice who kept saying "C'mon Gabby", so now whenever he comes up to bat we do that nasal version of "C'mon Gabby".
THE IGNORE FUNCTION IS A BEAUTIFUL THING
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Posted: 09/04/2013 1:15 PM

Re: Favorite Pirates memories 



samalifagus wrote: Now that most of us will put last night's game in the file, I'm curious what are some of the best you've seen.  I've been going to games since 1990, at Three Rivers, at PNC, Riverfront, GABP, and Progressive.  I have more than a few, but here are my top:

1.  First game, June 25, 1990:  5-0, Bucs.  Rick Reed was dominant.  I had never been in a place so loud in my life.  12 years old, and I fell in love with the Black and Gold.  Jose Lind had a huge triple, Bonds had a double, we sat in right field, behind my favorite player--Bonilla--and saw my first win.

2.  2nd game--July 28, 1990:  Bucs lost, 4-3, but I saw my first major league home runs--Von Hayes, Charlie Hayes, Bobby Bonilla, and Andy Van Slyke.

3.  A game in July or August 1992:  Doug Drabek against Frank Castillo for the Cubs.  The Bucs were flat, losing 3-0 nearly the whole game.  Dad wanted to leave, so we did in the 8th.  I get home, turn on the TV and see the Bucs scored 4 in the bottom of the 8th.  Oops.

4.  Division clinching win in 1992.  Don't remember too much about this one, except some guy was handing out flyers begging us to chant "Please Stay Barry!" during Bonds's at bats.  I remember a distinct crowd nearby saying "Screw You, Barry!"  Belinda with the save...who knew that was the last winner for so long?

5.  1993...some time against the Marlins.  Tom Prince.  Inside the park home run.  Seriously.

There was really nothing else of note for years.  Most games I went to the Pirates got smacked around.  There was a Sky Blast we went to, I want to say in 2008, that every time I'd trash a player, he'd hit a homer.  Bautista, Kata, and I think Paulino.  Still lost, but 5 or 6 bombs that night between the Bucs and Phillies.

6.  2012, Father's Day:  Pedro was epic.  2 HR, nearly hit a 3rd near the end of the game.  Indians fans were unconscionably stupid--at least near me--not understanding that the coaches at 1st and 3rd base could not score for them.  No kidding.

7.  September 29, 2012:  first time I'd ever seen a walk-off.  I thought PNC was going to collapse when Cutch's hit sailed over the RCF wall.  We were in SRO, and my feet hurt like hell, but that erased it.
I was at that game celebrating my 30th Birthday. That was an awesome game. I got 4 Lexus Club seats for $99 a piece for my friend, his wife, my girlfriend, and myself. I didn't even know about the pre-game buffet.
THE IGNORE FUNCTION IS A BEAUTIFUL THING
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