Positive Baseball News

Pittsburgh Pirates Have Fans Believing

Following play on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Pirates headed to the All-Break with a 47-43 record. They find themselves just one game back of the Milwakuee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals, both at the top of the National League Central Division with 49-43 records. This is the first time since 1992 the Pirates have been above .500 at the break. What has followed since 1992 has been, well… a hard to pill to swallow for Pirates fans everywhere.

In September 2007 Pirates Owner, Bob Nutting, made two critical hires with hopes of bringing this once great franchise back to life. Mr. Nutting hired Frank Coonelly as President and Neal Huntington as the General Manager. Since Coonelly and Huntington have taken over, fans have seen a complete over-haul of the Pittsburgh Pirates, from the farm system all the way up to the major league team. Some not so popular trades were made in order for their plan to come together.

Fast forward to 2011…

Clint Hurdle took over as manager during this past off-season and hit the ground running right away. All of a sudden a team that now expects to win, is winning. A team, not many paid attention too, is getting attention, and many of the players brought in by Neal Huntington and his staff are producing, and producing big! Once again, baseball is back in Pittsburgh and it’s back with a vengeance!

For the first time since 1990, the Pirates sent three players to the Mid-Summer Classic – Joel Hanranhan, Andrew McCutchen, and Kevin Correia. Final word came on Sunday during the Pirates home-game that the team would have three representatives and PNC Park went crazy as fans cheered for their All-Stars. It was a site that has not often been seen at PNC Park since it opened in 2001. PNC Park, one of the crown jewels of baseball, has fans coming out in high numbers to see their beloved Pirates. The Pirates have already gone over the one million mark in attendance and have sold out ten times. The fans attending games aren’t all from Pittsburgh either… I know of fans who have made special trips this year to see the Pirates at PNC Park from Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio! That tells me there are a number of people who have “Bucco Fever” for the first time in years!

The second half of the season gets underway shortly and fans have high hopes for the Pirates to continue winning. Eyes from fans and even the national media will be on them, many with hopes of a NL Central Division Title. Fans – buckle up because it will be an exciting few months of baseball as the Pirates continue their journey to October baseball and winning over hearts of many who get “Bucco Fever”.

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About Sam Sankovich

I am a native of Illinois, but have lived all over. Since high school, I have lived in Texas, Kentucky, Missouri, Florida, Kansas and Ohio. At the moment I am back in Illinois but hope a move back to Florida is in my near future. The first thing people think is I am a Cubs fan and a Bears fan. That’s not true. My dad’s family was born and raised in Pennsylvania (just south of Pittsburgh) and I was raised to be a fan of the Pirates and Steelers. I graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2002 with a BA degree. I majored in Radio and Television Operations and minored in Lodging Management. At this point of my life, I am following my dream of having a career in sports and love working with Joe and the team at The Good in Sports. The mission of the website and vision is second-to-none and allows us to make a difference in the lives of others. That’s important to me. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, I make it to Pittsburgh once a year to watch baseball at “The Best Ballpark in America” (PNC Park). I also enjoy trips to Panama City Beach for relaxation. I have a terrific family who always supports me in my endeavors. You can find me on Twitter, @TGIS_Sam.

Discussion

7 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Pirates Have Fans Believing

  1. What’s going on in Pittsburgh is excelent for MLB and the city itself. Neal Huntington has to be the most elated man in sports. Fans of that team were ready to run him out of town because of their perception of poor trades. It turns out the fans had overvalued marginal players who had recorded above avg years. Nate McClouth and Xavier Nady returned the likes of Tabata, Karstens and Morten among several other contibuting players. When they didn’t produce immediately, Neal was acccused of being overmatched by other big name GM’s. It seems patience may have won out. I doubt a combination of Nady and McClouth would bring the return of any one of those three pitchers. Big kudos to Neal and Pirate ownership for sticking with him inspite of impatient fans!

    Posted by toddsankovich | July 13, 2011, 9:24 pm
  2. Sam – great stuff. It’s so refreshing to have someone talking positively about the pirates. This team has been through so much and John Russell was a complete joke. You would have never seen JR pick up 1st base and take it back to the dugout like McClendon did. Keep talking about the pirates dude.

    Posted by Louis | July 13, 2011, 10:37 pm
  3. Good thoughts Sam! I am one that was impatient with Huntington. But Mr. Hurdle has made these guys believe in themselves. Would never have happened under Russell. Looking forward to the second half. Not sure we are good enough to win the division, but I think we can make it interesting. Mr. Huntington and Mr. Coonelly are doing their jobs — at last!!

    P.P. from P

    Posted by Pete | July 13, 2011, 10:51 pm
  4. Sam, you can add Texas to your list of Pirate fans making the mecca to PNC this summer. Finished travel and ballpark tickets arrangements TODAY for the last home series vs. the Reds – and we hope meaningful September baseball.

    Posted by Anonymous | July 13, 2011, 11:16 pm
  5. Sam – you have to be kiddin – a national write talking about the pirates? You must not work for ESPN because they like the yankees and red sox. I am so tired of espn.

    Posted by Ben | July 13, 2011, 11:31 pm
  6. Great post Sam. The Phillies and Red Sox sell-outs were definitely helped by the out-of-town fans for the visitors.

    For that reason, last Friday’s sell-out was the most impressive crowd for me. There were no fireworks and there were minimal Cubs fans in attendance. It truly was a sold-out crowd that was there for one reason and one reason only – THE BUCCOS ARE WINNING!!!

    I went to that game and wished you could have experienced that crowd when McKenry hit that HR. In all the games I’ve attended, that was the best moment.

    Posted by tanschmidli | July 14, 2011, 10:10 pm
  7. I was actually a season ahead in predicting great things from the Pirates organization. I picked them LAST year to finish 2nd behind the Cardinals in the Central because of the strength of their young guys such as Walker, McCutcheon and Alvarez. The pitching was a little slower than I expected to come around, but I think Clint Hurdle is THE PERFECT manager for this team.

    Posted by TF | July 15, 2011, 12:26 am

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