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Pirates Fans Returning To Ballpark

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA)–The line to buy tickets at midday Monday was a long one for a team now a half-game out of first place and preparing to play two more games against National League Central rival Cincinnati and a three-game series versus St. Louis.

“Normally I’m out here in two seconds and it’s no problem,” said Loren Cooper of East Liberty on waiting in line to get tickets. “I was really, really surprised that there was a line here.”

Jeff Willoe, a Mt. Lebanon resident, said he went to games even when the Pirates were losing in the last 18 years.

“But this is a pleasant surprise, let me tell [you],” Willoe said.

Pat Smalley, who returned from Florida, never expected the Pirates to bring back the excitement that goes along with winning.

So far this year, the Pirates have attracted more than a million fans. During the entire 2010 season, about 1.6 million fans attended. The year PNC Park opened, 2001, brought a record of about 2.4 million fans.

Reds manager Dusty Baker found out plenty of out of town fans came to the game as well.

Carol Morrision, a Reds fan from Mt. Sterling, Ohio, never thought Pirates baseball would be exciting.

KDKA’s Harold Hayes reported tickets for the Cincinnati Reds series are going quickly, but there are only single seats and standing room only for the St. Louis Cardinals series, particularly on Friday and Saturday.

With Monday’s 2-0 victory, the Pirates are in sole possession of first place in the NL Central with a half-game lead over St. Louis and Milwaukee. The Reds sit four games behind Pittsburgh in fourth place. The second game of the three-game series against Cincinnati is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday.

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