The Pittsburgh Pirates have always had a very strong tradition throughout MLB history, and many amazing players have been a part of this proud organization: Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell, Dave Parker — and that is just a few. They have also had some very strong teams, which makes what they and their fans have had to endure over the last 20 years so painful.
This is an organization that had 20 years of consecutive losing seasons, the longest streak for any active team in major league sports. In 1992, when Sid Bream and Francisco Cabrera of the Atlanta Braves broke Pirates fans’ hearts everywhere during the NLCS, you kind of knew that the Pirates wouldn’t be returning to the postseason for a while.
This was the last game for Barry Bonds and Doug Drabek in a Pirates uniform, but who would have expected this sort of futility? It’s like the Pirates fell into this giant black hole and just emerged this year. Even a season where they just played .500 ball would have been something. Nope — just 20 long years.
Consider this: there are Pittsburgh fans who are 20-years old — basically juniors or perhaps a seniors in college who have never seen their Pirates have a winning record, let alone play in the postseason in their lifetime.
This year has been different and can truly be considered one of those special seasons. There have been some really strong pickups like Francisco Liriano, Russell Martin and Mark Melancon. Andrew McCutchen could be the NL MVP.These Pirates have clinched a playoff spot.
Unfortunately, it looks like it could be in the Wild Card play-in game, where it could be a one-and-done appearance. Every fan must be hoping that the Pirates can finish ahead of the Cincinnati Reds so that at least Pittsburgh gets that game in their home stadium. It would be a shame to see such a great season end after one game.
Every baseball fan surely has their team that they are rooting for in the playoffs. However, if you don’t have a horse in the race, how can you not pull for the Pirates?