Reporting Harold Hayes
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pirate fans did something today they haven’t done for years: held a Pirate playoff pep rally in Market Square.
They cheered when Manager Clint Hurdle, players like Gerritt Cole and Pirates President Frank Coonelly took the stage.
Hurdle told the crowd, “We’ve been knocked down, we get up. We are a snapshot of the City of Pittsburgh. We are Pittsburgh. You are Pittsburgh.”
Pirates President Coonelly thanked the crowd for fan support that resulted in some milestones this year.
“The second-highest attendance in the history of this franchise including 2.5 million people,” Coonelly said. “The highest television ratings in the history of the Pittsburgh Pirates this year.”
Rose McMullen of Green Tree said her family has waited for this for a long time.
“We’ve been bucks fans for so long,” she said. “We are very happy.”
Some of the crowd remembers the World Series rally in 1979. It also was in Market Square.
Randall Collins of the North Side was there then and now.
“We are family. Sister Sledge. Loved it. Lets go buccos.”
But there was also a generation here for which all that was something in a history book.
“It’s just something new,” says Johanna Dolby of Springdale. “We never got a chance to see this or be a part of it and now we’re here and it’s so much fun seeing all the Pirates stuff and seeing everybody excited.”
Sandy Turner of Moon remembers Bill Mazeroski’s homer that won the 1960 World Series.
“The Pirates lost a whole generation during the losing years,” she said. “But they’re going to get it back this year.”
Luke Williams of Baldwin brought his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Emma to the rally.
“I’m trying to get her into it from the very beginning so she knows what it’s like to see winning baseball,” he said.