115 Federal St, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
PNC Park Pittsburgh Reviews
a horrible team but a fun time Mar 04, 2008
Ok, so if you're in Pittsburgh, like baseball and like to do cheap events you should go see a Pirates Game over on the North Shore at PNC Park.
Now...2 main questions that are always asked are going to be answer before we get into the review...1.) how did the Pirates (also known as the Buccos as being short for the Buccaneers) get their name? 2.) Were the Buccos ever good?
1.) Highly regarded second baseman Lou Bierbauer, who had previously played with the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association, was awarded to the Pittsburgh team on the grounds that the Athletics had not reserved him. This led to loud complaints by the Athletics that the Pittsburgh club were "pirates". This incident quickly accelerated into a schism between the leagues that contributed to the demise of the A.A. The colorful epithet stuck with the Pittsburghers, and eventually became the club's official nickname.
2.) The 1901â€“1903 Pirates completely dominated the National League, in part because they lost few star players to the rival American League. However, owing to injuries to their starting pitchers, they lost the first World Series ever played, in 1903 to Boston. The Pirates recovered from a 3-1 deficit to win the 1925 World Series over the Washington Senators, and reached the 1927 World Series before losing in a sweep to the New York Yankees, who at that time had built the most dominant team in baseball. However, the Pirates' crushing defeats of 1927 and 1938 (they lost the pennant to the Chicago Cubs in the final days of the 1938 season) were tremendous setbacks. The postwar Pirates would have only one winning season until 1958 and the 1960 team featured eight All-Stars, but was widely predicted to lose the World Series to a powerful New York Yankees team. In one of the most memorable World Series in history, the Pirates were defeated by more than ten runs in three games, won three close games, then recovered from a 7-4 deficit late in Game 7 to eventually win. The 1960 Pirates were the only team between 1945 and 2001 to have not succumbed to the so-called "Ex-Cubs Factor" in the postseason. They were also unique for winning a World Series on a home run, a feat duplicated by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993. In 1970, the Pirates won their first of five division titles over the next six years, and won their fourth World Series in 1971 behind a .414 Series batting average by Roberto Clemente (the first Puerto Rican superstar who was regarded as one of the game's best all-time hitters. The Pirates won a fifth World Series, again in seven games, on October 17, 1979.
Following was a period of decline until the Pirates were regarded as the worst team in baseball during the mid-1980s. The Pirates gradually climbed out of the cellar behind young and exciting players such as "outfield of dreams" Bobby Bonilla, Barry Bonds, and Andy Van Slyke; infielders Jay Bell, Sid Bream, and Jose Lind; and pitchers Doug Drabek and Stan Belinda. In 1988, the young team finished 85-75 and seemed ready to compete for a pennant. The Pirates would indeed win the division three straight times in 1990â€“92, but the 1989 season was a major setback, with injuries depleting the squad and leading to a 5th-place finish. Among the low points of the season was a game on June 8, 1989, where the Pirates became the first team in major-league history to score 10 runs in the first inning and nevertheless lose the game. Since 1992 the Pirates have been unable to come up with a winning season, accumulating a 14-year losing streak, the longest in any of the country's four major professional sports leagues. 2006 was the first time the Pirates have finished the second half of the season with a winning record since 1992.
Since PNC Parks beginning it has been credited to being one of the best stadiums in the League for one of the worst teams in the League. Built on the shore of the where the Allegheny and Monongahela River merge to make the Ohio River PNC Park is a structure so beautiful you stop in awww the first time you see it. The design was done smartly. You walk up to it to see the architecture staring back at you and once inside you see the same view you see when you first come into Pittsburgh from any angle...the amazing sky line of the City. No matter what seat you get in the Field you have a good seat...you are part of the game... but this is where the draw back is. The games usually aren't too eventful... the only players that make them eventful are Freddie Sanchez and Jason Bay who are the stars of the team.
Most people go to take part in the Festivities rather than to actually watch the game! The workers around the park are very friendly and will direct you where you need to go and give you pointers. This is especially helpful because the food and drinks you like may be in different areas of the Field...which if you do venture out you won't miss much in the game.
But there are a couple things you don't want to miss. One of them is Skyblast Fireworks Night (happens 3 times a year; this year on Aug 16 with Styx in concert, Aug 17 with a Smash Mouth concert and Aug 18 with the Poverty Neck Hillbillies concert). These are the next best fireworks you'll see in the 'Burgh besides the 4th of July.
Another aspect you don't want to miss is the Pierogi Race that features four contestants racing in giant pierogies costumes: Jalapeno Hannah (green hat), Cheese Chester (yellow), Sauerkraut Saul (red) and Oliver Onion (purple). Most of the race takes place as an animated sequence on the video board, showing the pierogies running through different sections of Pittsburgh, and an announcer speaking in Pittsburghese to cover the race. During the video you can cheer for the Pierogi you want to win and they will come running out onto the field in a clanter to announce the winner. And if you're going to Milwaukee to see the Brewers and the Buccos are in town go check out the game where you can See the Pittsburgh Pierogi's race the Milwaukee Sausages!
Also, the Pirate Parrot, who is the Pirates Mascot, will do fun and games and be the teams cheer leader. He will shoot shirts into the crowd...along with an occasional hotdog and they have various games played with the crowd in between the innings.
Another part is the Food (which is expensive, but the cheapness of the ticket will make up for it)...here you can get all types of food from the Pittsburghs own Primanti Sandwich (see my existing review on this) and Quaker Steak wings (also an existing review) to pizza, hotdogs and ice cream and Beer from one of the vendors!
All in all a Pittsburgh Pirates game is a great experience and day out...especially if you are on a budget. You can sit at the Dugout Box for $35 an if that's too expensive the bleacher and grandstand seats are only $9! All to see the nicest stadium in the North American Baseball league!
Some fun Links:
The Pierogi Race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l37gYmDePs
"THE PARROT" a Sopranos spoof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZC1jiwKMHc
The Onion Article: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/50814
Ball Park Digest: http://www.ballparkdigest.com/visits/pnc_park.htm
Part of the Things to do in Pittsburgh... travel blog
Part of the list things to do in Pennsylvania
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