September 10: We Are Family – Sister Sledge
I can’t pretend to be a huge Pirates fan. I’m a Pirates fan, yes, but not a huge one. If you said “1992” to me, I’d go to the Penguins’ second Stanley Cup first, and the Pirates’ playoff loss second. Many of my peers consider that Pirates loss to be the first true sports heartbreak of their lives. I remember being disappointed, but nothing compared to what the Pens would do to me in the spring of 1993. (Fucking David Volek.) And while the Pens were my primary devotion in 1992, I couldn’t even tell you a single thing about the Steelers that season. I couldn’t definitively name a single player. (Rod Woodson? Was he there? Merrill Hoge? Bubby?) My memory places the Pirates as a firm second place for the early part of my childhood, before they dove off the cliff into losing season after losing season and the Steelers crept up on me and stole the attention away from them.
When asked my baseball allegiance over the past ten years, I’ve said, “well, I’m technically a Pirates fan…” before trailing off and leaving the rest unsaid. That they were historically terrible. That the gorgeous ballpark was wasted by terrible team management. That the city so desperately wanted a winning team, to recapture the days when baseball mattered in Pittsburgh. I grew up watching Bonds and Bonilla and Van Slyke, but every kid in Pittsburgh knows just as much about Stargell and Clemente and Wagner. I’m not a baseball geek by any means, but I know those names, I know that history – enough to drop my jaw when cleaning out my grandparents’ house a few years ago and coming across a ticket from game 7 of the 1960 World Series, still in near pristine collection, randomly tossed in a box of old photographs. I knew the value of that ticket. I wondered if we’d ever see another World Series in Pittsburgh ever again.
I’ll leave the posts about how significant last night’s win was to others. But I’ll at least commemorate the occasion with a song today, one that everyone from Pittsburgh should recognize and know the significance of.
Congratulations, Pirates. You made a city proud. Now go get the division.