As many of you will become well aware, thanks to my colleagues at Wheelhouse Creative and to my beautiful family, I will be crossing yet another milestone in (hopefully for me) the long road of life. Soon, I will be turning 60. Several things have seemingly always been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, Steubenville Big Red Football, (Roll Red Roll!) and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
As a kid, I recall getting home from school and a neighbor coming out of the house yelling that Maz had just hit a home run to win the World Series. Decades later I had the opportunity to meet Bill Mazeroski at an event and get an autographed baseball. (To this day, it remains the only autograph I have ever asked for.) Even now, I still can hear “the Gunner” with every home run telling me to “kiss it good bye”, or to get out the “Green Weenie’ when we needed to jinx the opposition.
My love for the game started with my parents and going to the Holy Land, AKA Forbes Field. Years later, I was taking my own family to Three Rivers and now my grandchildren to PNC Park. (Insert sad note here: both grandchildren rejected my offer to hold their hand as they ran around the bases after the game, thus denying me the opportunity to do so.)
The 70’s brought the Lumber Company, the tragic loss of Roberto Clemente and the incredible “We Are Family” run of 1979 featuring “Chicken on the Hill with Will?”
The late 80’s early 90’s with the Killer B’s brought so much hope, but with the economics of baseball hanging over our head we realized our window of opportunity was closing fast.
Then came October 14, 1992. (If you have to ask, you don’t understand!)
Two decades of frustration followed featuring such Opening Day starters as Ron Villone and Erik Bedard. Is it any wonder Jim Leyland left town, leaving us with the likes of Jim Tracy and John Russell? Are you kidding me? But, the current ownership/management group has developed a young talented core of players lead by one of the games most motivational managers and are hopefully leading us out of the wilderness.
This past Sunday, my family, friends and co-workers gave me the ultimate surprise birthday party in the Bordas & Bordas suite at the Pirates game, complete with scoreboard birthday greeting. It was the perfect day. Thank you all.
Yes, I am a Pirate, lucky enough to have been alive through nearly 60 years of great highs, gut wrenching lows and 20 years in purgatory. What can I say but, “We had ‘em all the way.”