My Buccos and the Big Miss
So my beloved Pittsburgh Pirates are in Queens this week to take on the Mets. My good friend Jeremiah and I have been going to at least one game, sometimes 2 for the past 8 or 9 years.
It was on one of these excursions that I had one of my greatest disappointments as a baseball fan and not just watching my Buccos lose every game of the first 9 that we attended. No this was worse….I missed a Home Run Ball from future MVP Andrew McCutcheon that was hit right to me.
Now I realize that I’m 49 years old and there are plenty of things far more important in this brief life than baseball, a lot of them involving trying to survive and remembering to feed the cats and the dogs. But my love affair with my Pittsburgh Pirates Ball Club is something I can’t escape and has been ongoing now, winning or not, for 44 years or so. I guess I’m a true example of the loyal fan as the “winning or not” has been mostly “not” with only 2 World Series titles in those 44 years, but I still strap on my mental cleats and cup every exhibition season and look forward to another six months of knowing the names, numbers and watching the games, with tears or not (last season I was finally rewarded with a winning record and a playoff team for the fist time since I was 28).
Baseball for some, is a passion that remembers the best times of youth and the dreams that can be associated with it as you pretended your favorite players in the backyard and played with all your heart on ballfields lost in time. However much baseball has sullied it’s own reputation with drugs and greed and hubris it is still, and always, baseball…a perfect game.
So it was on this night that I missed catching this Home Run ball, in the 9th inning by inches, twice, and missed the opportunity to relive a little those dreams. The disappointment I felt at the time (and still do a little) can seem kind of silly for it just being a game but as I mentioned earlier I hadn’t seen a victory in my six seasons of catching my boys up to that point so it felt like I missed a gift the Pirate baseball gods offered up to me as a sort of recompense for my fandom travails. They had this future MVP and face of the franchise hit the homer right to me but I didn’t have my glove on, until too late, as I saw it coming our way.
Again the silliness of a grown man’s disappointment of missing a ball in a game is evident to the casual, but to me it hurt and still can a bit. But I still love my Bucs, winners or not, and I will be rooting them on in this 3 game set with the Mets, and if I can get down there I’ll be sporting my black and good and also my glove, at all times, hoping those baseball gods give me a second shot
(I’m the guy in the gold Pirates jacket…yeh, the one that stands out like a sore thumb)