October 02, 2013

The Pirates Are Back on their Ship

Back in '79

I have always been a Tigers fan. Ever since I was introduced to Mark "The Bird" Fidrych in 1976, I've been a Tiger. He was my original Tiger. Long before PASS, years before FSD. I picked my own Tiger and I never needed to be asked by the TV.

But in '79, the Tigers weren't quite following that upper trajectory that had begun in '76. They hired a new manager, fired a new manager, and brought in Sparky Anderson. To a youngster, that didn't seem to make sense.

The Pirates, though, they were cool. Their uniforms were bright. They wore the coolest hats in baseball. And they were on their way to the World Series. The Bucs would stay relevant for another 13 years, or until I was into college. My junior year in college was the last time they were relevant. They no longer wore the cool stove top hats, but that's probably not why they weren't much good anymore.

I've been OUT OF COLLEGE for almost 20 years. And this is the first time since my junior year in college at Central Michigan University that the Pirates finished with a winning record. More than that, it's the first time they've made the playoffs.

Now, they're back. They're relevant once again. Pittsburgh is going crazy for their Pirates.

And I think it's awesome. I also think that when they play their first home game they ought to whip out the old stove top hats and pay a tribute to all those great Pirates teams of the '70s and '80s. Maybe it would be a stretch; maybe it wouldn't be cool. But I think it would be awesome.

The Pirates and Tigers are considered "natural rivals" by Major League Baseball. If they match up in the World Series, I guess it would be like the "Bridge" series in northern California or the Subway Series in New York City ... Right?

The two teams have met in the Fall Classic before and the Tigers manager and coaches know a thing or two about Pittsburgh. The Pirates gave Jim Leyland his first managerial position and he was quite successful in the Steel City.

No comments: