Hey baseball fans!!!! Sorry I haven’t been here in a while, but I’m glad to be back, and like many of you, glad that baseball is finally here!!!!! I am also happy that the Dodgers finally got their first win yesterday against the Bucs !!!! Speaking of the Bucs, today’s blog takes us to the beautiful home of the Bucs, PNC Park.
Throughout the Dodgers 3 game series with the Bucs, I could not help but feel envy towards the Bucs gleeming digs. PNC Park is everything a ballpark should be, small, intimate, and in a picturesque setting. PNC Park boasts arguably one of the greatest settings in baseball with it’s breathtaking sightlines of Downtown Pittsburgh and the gold colored bridge named after Roberto Clemente. ( Oh yeah, speaking of gold, you will notice a lot of Black and Gold here in this city, especially the bridges, many of are which are, Gold ) .
Speaking of the Roberto Clemente Bridge, many of the local fans park in Downtown across the Allegheny River and walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge, which is closed off to vehicular traffic on game-day for pedestrians to take full advantage of. If you ever get the chance, it’s a nice walk across the river with a beautiful ballpark awaiting your arrival. Plus, it just add’s to the gameday atmosphere. Oh yeah, upon crossing the bridge, to your right is a plaque honoring The Great One himself.
The view across the Allegheny
Once across the bridge of course is that beautiful yard the Bucs are lucky to call home. And out there in the left field entrance are statues of The Great One himself and Willie Stargell.
The Great One in front of the bridge named in his honor
Pops, a huge member of ” The Family”
Speaking of statues, at the home plate entrance is one of the legendary Honus Wagner
Honus Wagner, home plate entrance
No doubt you have heard the phrase many a times ” There’s not a bad seat in the house ” , but at PNC, that phrase is true in every sense of it’s word. The highest seat up is only 170 feet away from the field, but should you ever find yourself in PNC’s upper reaches, you will be treated with this…..
One of baseball’s best views
Getting tickets to a Pirates game really does not require much advanced planning, largely in part of the team’s performance during the past 17 years, but if they should ever pick themselves up from the plank, tickets could become a hot commodity. But until then, walking up on game day should be no problem.
Should you happen to buy yourself a cheapie in the upper reaches, PNC does allow for free movement throughout the park, and if you’re lucky to be in town for a couple of days, you really owe it to yourself to roam around and explore every one of the yard’s nooks and crannies.
The RBC Bridge and a presentation on the video board honoring the great one. Though there are plenty of tributes to the Great One, there can never be enough tributes to this Great Human Being……. Speaking of tributes to The Great One
The right field wall is exactly 21 feet in height , in honor of the man who proudly wore number 21.
When I visited PNC back in 2005, the people at PNC Park, all the way to the ushers, really knew how to put on a presentation. One of the features that was popular here and hopefully still is are the different ways each Pirate player was introduced in the video screen during their at-bat.
Jason Bay representing his ” Home and Native Land….” . During this homestand back in Sept ’05, each player did some artwork that was a reflection of themselves, with the art being auctioned off to a local charity
In honor of Jason Bay…. ” Oh Canada….”
This one reminds me of the old gameshow ” Concentration ” . Can you guess the Buc that’s at bat ? ( Bucs fans not eligible, just kidding…. ) . The answer later……
Now you may have heard of the Sausage Races that take place in Milwaukee’s Miller Park, but at PNC Park, while not as popular as the Sausage Race , the have the local favorite, the Pierogis….
That Pierogi looked awfully tasty…. But PNC’s main mascot is still the Pirate Parrot
Here I am kicking it with the Parrot.
If you’re that fan whose many goals in life is to catch a game at all 30 MLB Parks, you definately owe it to yourself to catch a game at PNC Park. In spite of being one of the newest yards in the Majors, and in spite of the team’s yearly poor showing, there really aren’t many frills ( At least when I was there ) to take your attention away from the game, which goes to show that baseball can still be enjoyed without all the extra’s that you’ve seen in many parks and other sports venues as well. And if the Bucs can actually field a decent team, perhaps this sports crazed town will really embrace the Bucs once again.
OK, now the answer to the earilier trivia question, Name the Buc who is at bat
If you said Humberto Cota, YOU ARE CORRECT !!! OK, here’s the breakdown…. The first clue is the camel’s hump ( Note the red arrow ), than you are informed to ” subtract ” the P, therefore you have Hum. Next you have ” Bert ” from ” Sesame Street “, and then your’re asked to ” add ” an O, so now you have Humberto. Below Humberto you now have a ” Coat “. And after the ” coat “, you’re asked to ” add ” AH, and now you have Cota. Put the two together, and you have, HUMBERTO COTA. ( Did you have fun with this kids ? )
OK, Other stuff to do in Pittsburgh
Visit the U of Pittsburgh campus. There, you will find remnants of old Forbes Field, the yard that PNC pays many a tribute to.
The Cathedral of Learning, the second tallest education building in the world. Bucs fans were known to view games from up top on the action down at Forbes Field.
The famous shot of U of Pitt students, 1960, from LIFE magazine, when Bill Mazeroski hit his walk-off HR to win the WS for the Bucs in Game 7 over the Yankees, the first WS ever won on a walk-off home run. ( Joe Carter of the Blue Jays is the other, 1993, off of Phillies closer Mitch Williams )
Another shot of fans enjoying the view of the action from the Cathedral
A brick outline of Forbes Field’s outfield wall. As for what’s standing…..
Known locally as ” Maz’s Wall “, parts of the old outfield wall is still maintained here, a nice touch to the old yard.
And if you’re ever hungry for a sandwich, you have to stop at a Primanti Brothers. It’s pretty much your poor mans/ big man’s sandwich. If your by yourself and the locals sense your a huge sports fan, Iron City is on them ( OK, it was on my visit… ) .
If you go to the Primanti Brothers near the stadium, open 24 hours BTW, inside you’ll find this nice mural….
And there’s the Western Pennsylvania history museum, where by the entrance you can see the old goal posts from old 3 Rivers Stadium. Oh yeah, speaking of, did I ever mention how many times I head ” Here We Go Steelers ” being yelled at PNC Park ? Of course, this was one week prior to the start of football season.
OK, to finish off, 2 more PNC Pics….