Baseball in the Steel City

I went to Pittsburgh this weekend with my friend Brian to check out PNC Park, home of the Pirates.

PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA

We didn’t buy tickets ahead of time. The Pirates average south of 19k fans a game, they were in the midst of a 12-game skid, and their opponent for the evening was the equally hapless Cleveland Indians. That combination doesn’t scream “sellout” to me, so even though it was a Saturday night game we figured we were safe buying day of. Wrong-o. We showed up three hours before game time and were told the only available seats were standing-room or obstructed-view.

Well, I was thinking bullshit. The ticket lady was nuts, there was no way the game had sold out. Then there was a nasty thunderstorm leading to an hour-long rain delay, so I was thinking double-bullshit, this place is going to be a ghost town. But no. I am wrong about everything, everywhere, all the time. By twenty minutes before the first pitch the place was filling up. By the second inning the stands were jammed.

The culprit seems to be a promotion celebrating the 1960 Pirates, who won the World Series over the Yankees following one of the more famous home runs out there. The team was on hand for the pregame and everyone got a (pretty awful) commemorative mug at the gate celebrating their Series win. But the Pirates played well and the fans were into it and it ended up being a much livelier experience than I’d been expecting. Nice!

Final score: Pirates 6, Indians 4.

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