Bar Room Baseball
This week, I visited my grandparents house in Johnstown, PA. While there, I spent a considerable amount of time at my grandpa’s golf course, and more specifically, the clubhouse. I’ve talked about the Clubhouse before, it was where I first started to watch baseball. The place where we had to watch the Pirates on the little screens in the back of the room, once even having to go to the Locker Room to watch on one of the smallest TVs I’ve ever seen. But. We made it through. So, when I revisited this week, I discovered just how full the Pirates Bandwagon is.
To give you an idea of how long the Pirates have been irrelevant there, the last time they had a winning season, my grandpa was the club champion. Seriously. But this time, the Pirates game was the center of attention. Everyday the entire bar, and the tables behind it, would fall silent when the Pirates came up on PTI. And during key parts of the game, you could hear a pin drop, followed by boos and everyones opinion on how bad Starling Marte is. Or, alternatively depending on the result, everyone’s opinion on how good Starling Marte is. To give you an idea of how flip-floppy the Pirates fans during games, here’s a video of how we act during Steelers games:
Imagine that, but for 9 innings. In PA, you second guess everything that goes wrong, but applaud everything that goes right. Then second guess why they tried it, and say it was lucky that it went right. After Marte dropped the fly ball, I heard about it for the rest of the week. When Andrew didn’t run on a grounder, I heard about it for the rest of the week. Every time Pedro stepped up with runners in scoring position, more then a few people groaned. Then Pedro homered and those same people cheered.
We freely admit that the Pirates are flawed, but there was a fresh breath of hope, even during the recent slump, something that in the past would have sent us running for the hills this late in the season. People stayed to watch the entire game. People came over from the High School reunion across the hall to watch the game. Even the bartenders got into the act, cheering along with the rest of us.
So, it looks like the Pittsburgh Pirates have arrived… In Pennsylvania at least. And it looks like they’re here to stay… for August at least.