Pirates | BLOGH: City Paper's Blog |
Saturday, May 12, 2018

Posted By on Sat, May 12, 2018 at 6:11 PM

Fans cheer Andrew McCutchen's return to PNC Park
CP photo by Jake Mysliwczyk
Former Pittsburgh Pirate outfielder Andrew McCutchen is cheered by fans on Fri., May 11 at PNC Park.
On May 11, when former Pittsburgh Pirate outfielder Andrew McCutchen first stepped up to the plate, the crowd at PNC Park made him feel at home. McCutchen, now with the San Francisco Giants, was greeted to a standing ovation that felt like it would never end. Cheers, whistles and horns wailed out even beyond the stadium in the Allegheny River. Throughout Cutch's emotional return to PNC Park, Pirates fans showered the former Pirates MVP with admiration. They rooted for him to get hits, and booed when the home-plate umpire called him out on strikes, even though he plays for the opposing team.

The Pirates crushed the Giants 11-2 during the cool May game, including blasting several home runs, but the contest between the two teams didn't take center stage that night. It was all about respecting and showing love to McCutchen, and thanking him for his work in making the Pirates relevant after a 20-year losing streak.

Welcome back, Cutch.

The series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants continues tonight, May 12, at 7:05 p.m. and tomorrow, May 13, at 1:35 p.m.

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 3:12 PM

Fans are upset that Pittsburgh Pirates president spoke at a fundraiser for congressional candidate Rick Saccone
CP photo by Luke Thor Travis
The Pirate Parrot at a 2017 Pirates game
In the 2017 baseball offseason, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded away two star players in Andrew McCutchen and Gerrt Cole. The fans were upset with Pirates management and many Pittsburghers were gearing up for a disappointing season for the Buccos.

Then, for some, there was another reason this week to be upset with the Pirates. According to a tweet from Washington Post reporter James Hohmann, on March 8, Pirates president Frank Coonelly spoke in support of Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth), who is running for U.S. Congress in a special election on March 13 against Conor Lamb (D-Mount Lebanon). According to Hohmann's tweet,  Coonelly spoke at the Republican Party of Allegheny County's "Spirit of Lincoln" dinner in Green Tree on March 8 and he also brought the Pirate Parrot with him. The dinner served as a fundraising event for Saccone and featured President Donald Trump’s counsel Kellyanne Conway.

Regis McDevitt, a Pittsburgh resident and Pirate fan, wrote on Twitter on March 8 “@Pirates this is shameful,” in response to Hohmann’s tweet. McDevitt also tweeted that the Pirates should address Coonelly’s involvement with Saccone and wrote that “inserting the organization into a political argument is true cause for a boycott.”

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Posted By on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 5:08 PM

Pittsburgh Pirates to host Hello Neighbor night welcoming refugees and immigrants
PNC Park
Pittsburgh has the smallest percentage of foreign-born residents of large metro areas in the U.S., so when immigrants and refugees arrive here, it can be an isolating experience. Sloane Davidson knew this. So, in March, she started a mentorship program linking foreign-born residents with native Pittsburghers as a way to combat xenophobia and improve the lives of the area's refugees and immigrants.

So far the program, called Hello Neighbor, is off to a fast start with 25 refugee families paired with 25 native Pittsburgh families. Davidson says the families have spent more than 450 cumulative hours together since June, including 120 interactions. "It's pretty remarkable," says Davidson. The families have held an event at a park in Brookline and even went to visit The Andy Warhol Museum together.

And now the Pittsburgh Pirates are getting in on the action. On Aug. 1, the Pirates are hosting a Hello Neighbor night as a way to raise awareness for supporting immigrants and refugees. Discounted tickets are offered, and before the game, there will be a hang-out at Picnic Park, which is beyond the bleachers in centerfield.

The hang-out is open to the public, and Davidson encourages people to attend so they can meet and interact with their international neighbors. Davidson says the families (totaling 183 individuals) hail from six different countries, including Iraq, Syria, Burma and Somalia.

"These events are a great way to bring new people and like-minded people to the park," says Davidson. She adds that even though a few in Pittsburgh have not always been the most welcoming to international residents, the Hello Neighbor program has been acceptable by all.

“I know there are lot of different opinions about how open Pittsburgh can be,” says Davidson. “But we have felt nothing but warmth and acceptance.”

To purchase discounted tickets for the Hello Neighbor night at PNC Park, visit the Pirates website and enter the code NEIGHBOR. Discounted tickets in the infield grandstand are $20, and include a Pirates cap. Davidson adds that there is also a public potluck in Riverview Park on Sat., July 8, that will have music, entertainment for kids, and relay races marshaled by a Pittsburgh Pirate Pierogi mascot.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 10:30 AM


In advance of the September 30 release of his new autobiography, former Pirates slugger Al Oliver will sign copies of Life’s a Hit, Don’t Strike Out Saturday at the Majestic Clubhouse store in PNC Park from 1 p.m. to 2:30 PM and from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Oliver joined the Pirates in 1968 before being traded in 1977 to the Texas Rangers. He’s a lifetime .303 hitter and collected more than 2,700 hits. The book examines his life in baseball and his struggles to be an everyday player despite hitting .300 in 13 of his 18 seasons, being named to seven all-star teams. It also deals with the racism he dealt with in the game, particularly early on in his career. Today Oliver is a motivational speaker and advocate for children, seniors and veterans.

Oliver talked to City Paper by phone Thursday prior to his return to Pittsburgh this weekend.

What made you decide to write an autobiography?

When Alfred [Adams of VIP Ink Publishing] first called — he saw me in an interview on one of the spiritual channels and he told me he thought I had a super career and that he thought my story might be bigger than my career. I thought about it for a week and decided it might not be a bad idea. People might know of someone but not know them. I’ve gone through a lot of things in my life and wanted people to know more about Al Oliver. My story shows that regardless of who you are and where you come from, you can make it. A lot of our young people today, for example, have a lot of talents but don’t use their gifts because they weren’t brought up in proper households to believe that they can make it. A lot of them get detoured off the highway and onto the service road, as I like to say. Detours happen to everyone, but you have to just gas that car back up and get back on the highway. Everyone detour.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Posted By on Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

It's been a banner year for Pirates slugger Andrew McCutchen: The center fielder helped steer the team to the playoffs for the first time this century, ranked near the top of the National League in batting average and stolen bases, and was voted NL MVP. But it doesn't stop there

The American Music Awards, taking place Sunday night, unveiled its cast of presenters today, and it includes musicians (2Chainz, Michael Bolton), actors (Alicia Silverstone, Zoe Saldana), TV personalities (the folks from Shark Tank) and ... Cutch!

Barring any surprise guests — and some are promised — McCutchen is the only athlete on the docket. (Unless you count former soccer player Juan Pablo Galavis, who is only gonna be there because he's The Bachelor.)

The show airs at 8 p.m. Sunday night, Nov. 24, on ABC.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Posted By on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 1:42 PM

In this week's special Pirates issue, I wrote about local band Gene the Werewolf rewriting the '70s Pirates anthem, Sister Sledge's "We Are Family," to reflect the current Bucs club. Below, you'll find that tune and some classic Pirates-related songs, to get you pumped for this weekend's all-important, home-field-determining series against the Reds.

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