World news – Pirate fans return to PNC Park for the home opening game


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There are many signs that spring has arrived in Pittsburgh, including the recent warm temperatures. But let’s face it, spring really is just a rumor until the pirates and fans return to PNC Park with them.

It’s bad enough having to wait a winter to get back to baseball, like it usually does, but last year fans waited for winter, spring, and part of a summer. Then when the pirates finally started playing in late July. The fans were not allowed in.

Since September 29, 2019, the pirates have not heard any cheering that was not recorded and played over the PA system.

But after an unprecedented year and a half of waiting, the fans are ready to return. Although conditions in Pennsylvania will limit attendance to approximately 8,500 if the pirates host the cubs at 1:35 p.m. today, there are likely more people gathering than on the North Shore enjoying an atmosphere that hasn’t been in 555 days / p> Tribune review reporters JoAnne Klimovich Harrop and Paul Guggenheimer will provide fan updates before and during the game. Follow here.

Marianne Sovik, 76, Bethel Park, is looking for a ticket to today’s game. She has a budget. $ 15. And a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies. Sounds fair enough.

If that doesn’t work, « I’m just looking forward to being part of the pirates again, » she said.

She is from Chicago. He’s from Pittsburgh. You are happy in love. Cubs fan and former Wrigleyville Bleacher Bum JoAnn Guilfoil, who now lives in Imperial, and South Park pirate fan Bob Raspet know how to coexist.

« I look good in black and gold », she said, adding, « Cubs all the way. »

A mixed pair at the home opening game … Cubs fan and former Wrigleyville bleacher Bum JoAnn Guilfoil from Imperial and pirate fan Bob Raspet from South Park make it despite shared loyalty to get along.

This group had their own version of a terrible towel. You have to watch Paul’s video to see it.

From left to right, 20 items by Charleroi, Corey Stefan, Ethan Piot, Mark McFeely, Olivia Mancini and Demi Levandowski are hanging in the parking lot.

The crowd seems to be recovering. JoAnne shows us the beer line in this photo.

Chris Grilli from Bethel Park and his buddy Mark Alterici (58) from Charleroi believe that bad baseball is better than no baseball. You don’t miss out on many home openers.

Alterici has participated in 49 home openings. He’s also counting in 2020. He watched from the bridge.

« We have low expectations for the team, but it’s just a few friends who come to hang out and enjoy the day, » he said / p> Chris Grilli, 55, Bethel Park and Mark Alterici, 58, Charleroi, a couple of seasoned pirate fans who are preparing for the start of the home.

A few hours before first place, William McGee of Bethel Park took a seat under the statue of his favorite pirate Roberto Clemente. McGee has Clemente’s 1971 baseball card.

A friend gave him a ticket to today’s game. The feeling of semi-normality was not lost on McGee.

« I’m really looking forward to the season, especially as we had to go through all this coronavirus crap, » he said.

William McGee of Bethel Park poses on opening day in front of the Roberto Clemente statue … he has a Clemente baseball card from 1971

Dennis Blucas, 39, from Windber, let his 9-year-old son Owen skip school at the start. And why not?

Son and father 9 years. old Owen and 39 year old. Old Windber’s Dennis Blucas is expressing excitement about going to the pirate opener.

Rick Sporcic, 35, Brackenridge, waited about an hour for the gates to open in front of the central field entrance of PNC Park. He wanted to be among the first to enter.

As a season ticket holder, Sporcic was happy to be back. He was clutching a blue baseball glove, hoping to grab a lazy ball.

« I really missed that, » he said. “I took the day off. I would be here no matter what. “

Rick Sporcic from Brackenridge waited an hour to get into PNC Park … said, » I missed being here.  »

John Pithers of Butler was at 46 Pirates Home Openers. He needs a ticket for his 47th birthday. He and his wife struggled Thursday morning with the pirates selling tickets in trays of two or four. Somebody wanted to sell him four tickets.

John Pithers of Butler has been to the last 46 pirate home openings … looking for tickets for himself and his wife

Thank you, Pittsburgh … John and D from Butler got their tickets … his series continues. 47 Pirates Home Openers !!!

JoAnne caught up with some Cubs fans from southwest Michigan. This was her first visit to Pittsburgh.

« It’s really weird because there aren’t a lot of people walking around the stadium, » said Eric Schlutt. « The baseball field looks great. »

Cubs fans from Michigan … Eric and Kristy Schlutt and their kids attend the opening day … bought tickets on Stubhub

Covid- Restrictions prohibit PNC Park from reaching capacity. About three hours before the game, the atmosphere in the stadium was limited. This video captures the silence.

Normally, Clemente Bridge would be full on opening day … not today with limited fans in the park

There are no tickets sold for today’s Pirates home opener … The capacity restrictions for covid-19 limit the number of fans in the stadium 😢

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