PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – The Pirates have a number of awards to present on Opening Day after the season they had last year, and have chosen some interesting former Pirates to do the presenting.
The most interesting piece of news is that Barry Bonds will be making his return to PNC Park to present Andrew McCutchen with his MVP Award.
Along with Bonds, Dick Groat will be part of the presentation to McCutchen as well.
Bonds was the last Pirates to win an MVP award prior to McCutchen.
Pirates President Frank Coonelly joined Starkey and Mueller to fill us in on the thinking behind this move and how it all came together.
“He’s a great former Pirate, having won two of his seven MVP awards in Pittsburgh, starting his career with us, and we thought it was time to bring Barry back and to celebrate our past along with our future,” Coonelly said about Bonds.
Coonelly also addressed whether or not there are any other plans to honor Bonds in the future.
“No plans at this time, but I think this is an important first step to bring Barry back in to Pittsburgh. There are so many of our fans that recall fondly the six years, the six and a half years that Barry Bonds was in Pittsburgh as one of the greatest players in the game. This is an important first step and I’m looking forward to seeing Barry on the field at PNC Park,” Coonelly added.
Coonelly even went so far as to check with both Andrew McCutchen and Clint Hurdle to get their thoughts on whether or not they’d want Bonds to be part of the award presentation. You can hear what McCutchen and Hurdle told Coonelly in the audio below:
Along with that presentation, the Pirates will be welcoming in former manager Jim Leyland to present Clint Hurdle with his Manager of the Year Award while former shortstop and Silver Slugger Award winner Jack Wilson will present McCutchen and Pedro Alavrez with their Silver Slugger Awards.
Speaking of Jim Leyland, he caught up with KDKA-AM’s Bill Rehkopf and talked about presenting Clint Hurdle with the Manager of the Year award.
Leyland also weighed in on Bonds coming back and his thoughts on his former player.
“Barry is one of the greatest players to ever play the game. I don’t think there’s any question about that. I think that being said, he’s truly one of the best baseball players to ever play the game and the numbers speak for themselves,” Leyland said.
You can hear more from Leyland on Bonds in the link below:
Stay tuned to 93-7 The FAN for reaction to this news.