When people think of the city of Pittsburgh, they think of steel mills, Andrew Carnegie, and Heinz Ketchup. When you think of sports in the city, you may think of Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby raising the Stanley Cup or Franco Harris and his Immaculate Reception. If you are a baseball fan, you may think of Bill Mazeroski’s home-run in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series against the New York Yankees.
All of these things call out to these traits: hard-working, dedicated and a never-give-up attitude.
In 2013, all of these can describe the Pittsburgh Pirates. At the beginning of this season, manager Clint Hurdle predicted that this team would win 95 games. Here was a team that did not even finish above .500 in 20 seasons, and their coach was predicting that they would have one of the best records in MLB. This team overcame that and not only finished above .500 for the first time in 20 years, but finished just one game shy of 95 wins.
For the entire 2013 season, you could never count the Pirates out. This team has had clutch hitting to win big baseball games in newcomers like Russell Martin. When the team needed a big RBI, they could count on trade-deadline acquisition Marlon Byrd to come through.
When the Pirates had a day game, everyone knew that Pedro “Day-dro” Alvarez would hit a homer over the Clemente Wall. When the Pirates needed to stop a losing streak, they could count on starters Charlie Morton, A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano and rookie sensation Gerrit Cole to lead them to a win.
This team, like the World Series teams of the past, has a player that the entire city can rally around. For the 1960 and 1971 teams, that player was Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente. In 1979, the “We are Family” team rallied around slugger Willie Stargell. For the 2013 Pirates, center fielder Andrew McCutchen shows the hard work, spirit, and dedication of these great Pirates of the past.
This team can never be counted out. When this team loses a lead, they come together, rally around each other and overcome the odds. This is the city of Pittsburgh. When people think Pittsburgh is just part of the past, the people rise to the occasion and prove everyone wrong.
The St. Louis Cardinals are witnessing firsthand the fighting spirit of the city of Pittsburgh. The stadium is blacked out with screaming fans filling the beautiful PNC Park. If the Cardinals do not do something quick, the series and their season could be blacked out by the Pirates advancing to the NLCS, which is something the hard-working and dedicated fans in Pittsburgh deserve to see.