PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Steelers are the defending AFC champions, the Penguins are heading back to the playoffs, and now it’s time for the Pirates to shine.

It’s opening day over at PNC Park and baseball fans in Pittsburgh are hoping that this is the year the Pirates turn it all around and have a winning season.

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The sun started shining on PNC Park over on Pittsburgh’s North Shore this morning as the Pirates prepared to host the Colorado Rockies for the 2011 Home Opener.

“Put the kids out there that know how to play, and play ball,” said Pirates fan, Gio Onorato.

There is a bit of a different vibe amongst fans this season. The boys are coming home 4-2 after starting the season on the road.

“They are playing with a different attitude, and I think it’s Clint Hurdle,” said Cory Marx, another fan.

The tailgaters were out this morning getting geared up for the game with lots of food and some fun. Tailgating is of course a tradition for the home opener, and so is playing hooky for some of the younger fans.

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“I’m supposed to be [in school], but I took a sick day,” said Marx.

And so, it is time to play ball and dream.

“I’m just hoping for one game above .500,” Marx added.

But not too big, like perhaps the World Series?

“Small steps,” he added.

“It’s just going to be an unbelievable event when the playoffs return to Pittsburgh,” said Jared Tendons, another Pirates fan.

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