The Legend

The Legend

Friday, January 31, 2014

Memory Lane

Being a Pirates fan is once again cool in Pittsburgh.  With the recent playoff run and the emergence of Andrew Mccutchen as a bona fide superstar things are looking up for the Pirates. I was lucky enough to attend the Wildcard game against the Reds and it was one of the most memorable sporting experiences that I've witnessed.  The game had the feel of a European soccer match.  Fans were chanting and waving flags the entire game. 

One of the reasons the 2013 season was so sweet was the historically long wait in between playoff appearances.  Pirate fans had to endure the longest stretch in professional sports history without a playoff game.  Being historically bad alienated a whole generation of Pirate fans until this group of players had a magical summer and slowly regained the love of the city.  Fans showed up at the games in numbers not seen since PNC Parks first year.

Living close to Pittsburgh allows me to attend 10-15 games a year.  This year my friends and I would often discuss how far this team has come.  We would talk about how we could get lower level tickets for 5 dollars and how the team would cease to exist once Steeler training camp would begin.  The so called dark ages of Pirate Baseball left very few positive memories. 

One memory that holds a special place for me was being able to attend the 2006 All Star game with my brother.  The NL was represented by both Jason Bay and Freddy Sanchez.  I think if you ask any Pirates fan from the mid 2000's they would all hold a special fondness for Jason Bay.  He was my personal favorite Bucco. 

Jason Bay was acquired in the Brian Giles trade and hit the ground running for the Bucs.  He instantly became an All Star level player and the face of a franchise in the mid 2000's. Recently I read that Jason was going to retire so I wanted to post one of my favorite cards.

The above card is from 2006 Topps Triple Threads and is serial numbered 3 of 9.  I think being placed on a card with the likes of David Wright and Miguel Cabrera shows just how productive Bay was in his prime years.  It is too bad injuries derailed his career. 

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