PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Last night, there was another great baseball game, another home run by Andrew McCutchen and another Pirate victory.
“Extremely excited with what the team has accomplished so far,” said Pittsburgh Pirates Chairman and Owner Bob Nutting. “Clearly dramatic improvement from last year.”
The team is playing. 500-ball and is only four games out of first place. But does that give Pittsburgh Pirate fever and an urge to spend bucks on the Bucs?
When asked if .500-ball is good enough, fan Eileen Ayres from the North Side sure thinks so.
“Yes, yes, it’s tremendous. Yes.”
But Danny Duchesneau from Blawnox doesn’t agree.
“It’s a nice stadium, but the team, they should have put more money into the team than the stadium.”
He has yet to be turned into a Pirates fan.
Megan McNeish of Butler was at Yinzers in the Strip District buying Pirate gear.
“I think it’s finally coming,” she says. “Everyone is starting to see how great the players can be together, and how the good managers go. I think everyone is going to start liking them again.”
And sales of Pirate caps, t-shirts, pennants and other gear now outsell the Penguins.
John Coen works at Yinzers which sells Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins gear. He sees a change in what customers are buying because he says the Pirates are now actually doing something.
Two men who really know something about sports fever are Steeler greats Robin Cole and JT Thomas.
“There’s a momentum,” says Thomas “I wouldn’t call it a fever, but there’s a bug, and I think it’s contagious, too.”
Cole agrees, but he thinks .500-ball would never cut it for Steelers fans.
“You’d be starting naming players to get rid of right now.”
“We have lower standards when it comes to the Pirates right now,” says Cole. “Fans are still waiting for the right combination.”
And that combination is what will bring “yinzers” back to baseball in Pittsburgh.
So it maybe to is really a bit early to predict Pirate fever, but it sure beats all those bad seasons in the past.