Old school

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first_imgUnlike most of the new Pirate band “Waggoner’s,” including a significant number of the media, in April 2012 just hours before opening day I wrote, “the day is coming.” I have been accused of being, rabid, crazed and delusional in regards to my annual so-called rose colored predictions regarding the soon to be successful Pittsburgh Pirates. When I was in my early 20s I attended a church service featuring a prominent “prophet” and faith healer. After the service concluded, my father who was a devout Christian and a man of God for his entire life asked me a question, “Peanut, what did you think of the service?” I replied that, “I thought it was great but one thing puzzled me. The ‘prophet’ promised every sick person there that they were healed. How could he promise that?” Dad said, “If he bats one percent everyone wins.” That leads me to say, Pittsburgh has heard all of the lofty promises before but if the Pirates top .500 or get a wild card playoff slot in 2012, we all win. The Pirates 2012 squad is not smoke and mirrors. These boys are for real.Prince used to say that some of the Pirates pitchers of the past were throwing so hard that the baseball looked as tiny as “aspirin tablets.” To compliment the pierogis we have to get some more “babushka power” onto the heads of women that fill the seats at PNC Park. If that doesn’t work I am positive that there are a few “Green Weenies’” in the Pirates museum waiting to be dusted off with a curse still strong enough to be unleashed on the Pirates unsuspecting opponents.The Pirates had great players but what really caused people to want to come to the ballpark every day and listen to the game on the radio every night was Bob Prince. Prince was the Daniel Webster of a new vocabulary that can only be described as, “Piratesspeak.”If the Pirates perform the exact same way that they did before the All-Star break they will be 22 games over .500 and a lock to win a NL wildcard spot and “by a gnats eyelash” may win the National League Central Division crown. They might even start to raise live, “chickens on the hill” if and when the Bucs win another World Series.Prince used to say that the law of “hidden vigorish” was on a player’s side if that player was in a slump or just wasn’t performing too well. In the Pirates case they have over seventeen years of “hidden vigorish” working in their favor.“How sweet it is” is not a reference to one of the Motown legends Jr. Walker and the All-Stars greatest hits. It was Prince savoring every victory of the Pirates. Prince also used to say that “the bases are F.O.B.” (full of Bucs).“Kiss it goodbye” was not Mr. Prince heading to divorce court. It was him bidding adieu to one of the many homeruns launched by the Pirates out of Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium.“We had ’em all the way.” That’s what all the fly by nighters will be saying when the Pirates begin breaking out the champagne. Now it is time to get serious. Since the Pirates last won a division, I have battled and overcome cancer. I have buried my mother and three brothers and a sister. I have seen many of my friends go on to join the ancestors. I become saddened that a few folks are no longer on the planet just to feel the vibe now soaking Pittsburgh sports fans. One of the things that makes my blood boil is people now coming up to me asking, no almost pleading with me to get them some Pirate tickets. Yet only three, yes three short years ago, Chaz Kellum from the Pirates gave me a block of five hundred tickets for Jackie Robinson week. Only 60 some odd people choose to redeem them.The Pirates needed folks to cheer them on when they were playing atrociously and even feeling worse than that. There were Wednesday and Thursday nights at PNC Park that if 8,000 fans showed up that was considered a blessing.It is true that some of the past management of the Pirates went south, but you know what? The fans went to Brazil with them. The players gave up, the fans gave up. The fans gave up, the players gave up. Which came first? The chicken or the egg. Who knows because an entire city gave up on the spirit of baseball. The Pirates are going to win. They are going to shake a stick and the “Green Weenie” at their not so recent past of mediocrity. The Bucs gonna beat em all the way. Beat em Bucs.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: [email protected] or 412-583-6741.) I feel like reminiscing on this night, boys and girls. First I want to hit the rewind button to transport us back to the land of the late legendary Pirates broadcaster Bob “The Gunner” Prince, but before we put the cart before the donkey, I have a bottle of crow feather removal solvent for anyone who needs it in regards to the “new found” success of the Pittsburgh Pirates. There are truly a few “bugs loose on the rug” as the “Gunner” would proclaim in his gravely sometimes “Jack Daniels” laced voice. last_img

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