By Abby Dudley | Edited by Andrea Bosco Stehle
When a team’s season ends in Pittsburgh, we barely have time to shed a tear before moving on and rooting for the next one. But the Pirates’ loss to the Cubs in the Wild Card game is tripping us up a little. Call it sentimental, but we’re having trouble saying goodbye.
1. Because Pirate Parrot > Iceburgh > Steely McBeam
Pirate Parrot was introduced — ahem — hatched in 1979. If he reminds you of the Philly Phanatic, it’s because he was a direct response to the Phillies’ mascot in the heat of their rivalry. He’s now an integral part of the Pirates family, along with our favorite pierogies (Congratulations to Jalapeño Hannah on a fantastic season!). All of them throw down the best mascot game in Pittsburgh.
2. Because We Miss Francisco’s Walk Up Song
There are plenty of things that say “baseball” more than “That’s Amore,” but we can’t quite think of anything that would better represent Francisco Cervelli. He wears his passion on his sleeve and has embraced Pittsburgh. And we’ve embraced him back. Plus, something about sitting in the stands, listening to Dean Martin, and sipping an Iron City just makes sense. Read our interview with Cervelli, here.
3. Because We Weren’t Ready to Say Goodbye to A.J. Burnett
Sure, we technically prepared ourselves for his last game against Cincinnati, but we didn’t think it was real! Batman deserved to end his best and last season ever kicking butt in the playoffs, and we need a little bit of time to mourn our resident bad boy leaving us too soon. The bat signal is forever lit in our hearts.
4. Because of Pirates Fans Dressed Like Pirates
We’re not sure when Pirates fans started to become the most fanatically dressed, but we really like the results. Guys walking around with Jack Sparrow-style swag, we’re looking at you.
5. Because of That View
It’s not the first time you’ve heard it, and it won’t be the last: PNC Park is simply the best. A night spent in those stands looking out onto our beautiful city is a night we’ll want back until we can have it again.
6. Because the Nicknames are Unrivaled
Cutch, El Coffee, El Toro, J Hay, Batman, Air Jordy, Cole 45…we’ll miss you.
7. Because Clint Hurdle is Our Spirit Guide
You’re not likely to find a baseball manager who looks more like a baseball manager than Clint Hurdle. With his eyes fixed on the field and his mouth filled with bubble gum, he’s as fun to watch as the game itself. Remember when he and Cervelli were ejected against the Cardinals? We do.
8. Because J Hay Has Mad Style
Leave it to Josh Harrison to deliver way more than your typical uniform vibes. He wears his with a certain je ne sais quoi that we already miss watching in action.
9. Because Little Boys at Baseball Games Are the Cutest
Every single ecstatic little boy who sits in PNC Park to cheer on the Bucs warms our collective heart, but this season’s MVP goes to mini Pedro Alvarez who wore a beard and witnessed an Alvarez home run (one of 27!) against the Giants. That spirit can’t be taught.
10. Because We All Deserve More Fireworks
Baseball season means fireworks season in Pittsburgh, and even when you can’t see them, it’s nice to hear the blast while sitting outside on your porch. That not-so-gentle reminder that the Pirates are playing and Pittsburgh is perfect.
11. Because Pirates Excitement is Infectious
Q: What is more exciting than those big smiles on the players’ faces after a good game or a great play? A: When the nearly 40,000 fans in the ballpark are smiling with them.
12. Because of McCutchen’s Dance Moves
Pregame dance parties in the dugout are our favorite, especially ones led by Andrew McCutchen. We see you, 22.
13. Because 2.5 Million Fans Can’t Be Wrong
It was a record-setting season with 21 sellout games and 2,498,596 fans in attendance overall. That’s a big number, all counting down the days until we get to watch the Bucs again. Congratulations on an incredible season!