By John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Fans began filing into PNC Park for Opening Day around noon, but the celebration started well before that.

The Pittsburgh Pirates will kick off their 2013 season with a game against the Chicago Cubs Monday afternoon.

Many fans are wondering if this will be the year the Pirates put an end to a stretch of 20 straight losing seasons.

Many fans arrived at the North Shore parking lots early to tailgate and to celebrate the arrival of the new season.

Inside the park, the grounds crew has been working very hard as some rain and snow quickly moved through the area Monday morning.

The players said the field is in great shape and they are looking forward to getting going this season.

“We’ve had like five, six months off. It’s time, just the anticipation. You’ve had a long spring, you’re ready to get out there and play the game for something that really matters this is the first day towards hopefully a great season and a chance to play in the playoffs,” catcher Michael McHenry said.

“It’s a fresh start, a new beginning. It’s everything you’ve worked for in the offseason and before this and more than that, it’s a chance to get started and get rolling. We’ve all looked forward to this day and we’re ready to go,” second baseman Neil Walker said.

“Very optimistic. We’re capable of doing what we want to do and go where we want to go. We just have to go out there and do it and that’s what it’s all about and we have the team to do it. We showed a glimpse of it last year and we have the team to go out and do it a lot better,” centerfielder Andrew McCutchen said.

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