Seeing my first Pirates game yesterday I was astounded by the deep commitment
of the fans. By the end of the game ¾ of the stadium seats at PNC Park were empty,
no doubt due to fans falling over backwards, fainting from the shock of seeing the
Pirates finally brought to their knees. “Who could have defeated this Goliath?” one
astounded Pittsburgher asked. After I talked to him a little more I found out that
he was actually not upset about the Pirates losing a game, but still upset about the
Steelers losing the Super Bowl.
The stands looked especially empty thanks to the lack of visiting team fans. “We
think it’s our intimidating mascots that scare them off,” explained a representative
of the Pirates, speaking of the four menacing pirogues in baseball hats that the
Pirates break out between innings. “That or the fear of seeing their team so
resoundingly defeated,” the representative added.
It was easy for me to see why the Pirates are a legend among baseball teams. Almost
all of their hitters have mastered unique methods of tricking the other team. They
are so skilled at faking pitchers out that more batters knock the ball behind them
and into the stands, than out into the field. “It really throws the basemen for a loop,”
explained one pitcher.
I couldn’t wait for the chance to see another game. And soon! Fortunately, before
I could make a faux pas and snatch up one of the highly sought-after $10 tickets, a
fan intervened, explaining to me the generally unspoken etiquette of Pirates fans.
Pittsburghers love the team so much that they dare not buy more than one ticket
a year, if that often. “That way are still tickets available for all the other people
clamoring to see the Pirates. It just wouldn’t be fair otherwise,’ she pointed out.