As the calendar changes to 2016, here’s a look back at some of the top stories about the Pittsburgh Pirates last year.
Andrew McCutchen Cuts His HairREAD MORE: Ben Roethlisberger's Work With Make-A-Wish Foundation, Allegheny County Sheriff's Office Leaves Lasting Impression
In March, Andrew McCutchen used social media to let us all in on a special secret.
After much speculation and wondering, Cutch revealed that he has cut his hair. Ten of McCutchen’s locks were auctioned on on MLB.com with all proceeds going to Pirates Charities.
“It was just time,” McCutchen said. “I’ve had it for such a long time now and it was starting to get a bit long. I was looking forward to it and at the same time to be able to do it for charity.”
Pirates Fan Hit By Foul Ball
A woman was injured at PNC Park after being struck by a foul ball during a game in April.
She was standing in the first row behind home plate with her back toward the field, when a foul tip off the bat of Cubs’ shortstop Starlin Castro hit the protective netting and struck her in the head.
The game was delayed for 23 minutes while medics treated her.
She was taken to the hospital for treatment and was released.
PNC Park Tarp Monster
Another scary moment happened at PNC Park during a storm in July.
As the grounds crew was putting the tarp on the field, heavy winds caused it to swell. As a result, Matt Gerhardt was swallowed up and was briefly trapped.
Quickly, McCutchen, Sean Rodriguez and Gregory Polanco ran onto the field to help.
Fortunately, Gerhardt was quickly freed and was okay.
The Pirates even made special, “I survived the Tarp Monster” T-shirts to mark the occasion.
Pirates Bring Back Aramis Ramirez
Pirates fans experienced a bit of déjà vu on MLB Trade Deadline day this year.
On July 23, the Pirates brought Aramis Ramirez back to Pittsburgh in a trade with the Brewers. The trade came 12 years to the day that the Pirates dealt Ramirez to the Chicago Cubs.
This time around, the Pirates sent cash and minor league pitcher Yhonathan Barrios to the Brewers for Ramirez.
In 56 games with the Pirates, Ramirez held a .245 batting average with 6 homers and 33 RBIs.
PNC Park “Wooing” Controversy
Fans tend to do a lot of weird things while attending a live sporting event. From the wave, to quirky chants, we’ve seen just about everything.
However, the hot button issue this year among fans was “wooing.”
Some fans hated it, while others didn’t seem to mind when the “woo birds” made their presence known.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. Stop doing it please. It’s annoying and stupid. Please stop doing it. It’s not a baseball thing please,” Matthew, a Pirates fan, said.
“I think it’s really cool and helps get energy up in sports stadium,” Pirates fan Corey Weir said.
Kang InjuryREAD MORE: 4 Teenagers Charged In Fatal Shooting Of Rideshare Driver
The Pirates were dealt a major blow in September when shortstop Jung Ho Kang suffered a major injury.
Kang was hurt when the Cubs’ Chris Coughlan slid into him while trying to break up a double play.
As a result, Kang needed surgery for a displaced lateral tibial plateau fracture with a lateral meniscal repair.
At the time of the injury, he was expected to miss 6 to 8 months.
Fan Creates Wild Card Game Chants
So, this happened and it didn’t work out so well.
Ahead of their Wild Card matchup with the Cubs, Bill Ferari came up with a list of chants — one for each inning while the Cubs were pitching.
He was hoping his plan would rattle Jake Arrieta on the mound. Arrieta wasn’t phased as he dominated the game.
He allowed just four hits and struck out 11 in a complete game 4-0 shutout performance.
Despite making the playoffs for a third straight year, this was the second straight Wild Card loss at PNC Park for the Pirates.
Marte Gold Glove
Obviously, the Pirates didn’t bring home the big trophy, but one member did earn some hardware.
Starling Marte won his first Gold Glove for his stunning defensive work in left field this year.
Marte led the National League by saving 24 runs to go along with a .995 fielding percentage.
With any offseason, there are big decisions to be made. This year, the Pirates decided to not offer a contract to Pedro Alvarez, making him a free agent.
Alvarez hit 111 homers over the past four years for the Pirates, but his defensive struggles were shocking at times.
After making the switch from third to first base, Alvarez made 23 errors this season.
Neil Walker Traded
Speaking of changes and big decisions, the Pirates also parted ways with a hometown favorite.
In early December, the Pirates traded Neil Walker to the New York Mets for starting pitcher Jon Niese.
Walker, 30, is coming off a 16 home run, 71 RBI season. Niese, 29, had a 9-10 record with a 4.13 ERA.
In his seven seasons playing for his hometown team, Walker hit .272 with 93 home runs and 418 RBI, while anchoring the second base position.
Tim Neverett Departs For Boston
On Dec. 28, the Pirates announced that they would be looking for a new play-by-play announcer.
Tim Neverett left the broadcast booth for the Boston Red Sox.
Neverett is a native of New England. He has been in the Pirates’ broadcast booth for the past seven seasons.MORE NEWS: Lawyers For Dentist Accused Of Killing Wife On African Safari Want Case Pushed Back