I failed yesterday to finish posts for each of my favorite teams. Which means, today will be a busy day.
The fourth team on my list, but not necessarily my fourth favorite team, is Pittsburgh.
I don’t have a meaningful story behind why I like the Pirates. The original reason for me liking Pittsburgh was their mascot and color scheme. What 6-year-old doesn’t like pirates or black and gold? So any time that I got Pirates in the packs of cards I opened, I held on to them, especially stickers.
In 1991, Donruss helped to create a true fan of the Pirates organization. Like they had done since 1982, Donruss inserted pieces of a Diamond King Hall of Fame puzzle in every pack. In 91′ Donruss picked Willie Stargell as the subject for the puzzle. I had such a blast putting that puzzle together. It became more exciting to get a needed puzzle piece than pulling a favorite player. It took me almost two years, but I finally completed the puzzle.
Due to this puzzle, I became enamored with the history of the Pirates franchise, especially with Stargell and Clemente. These two incredible players where so important to the history of baseball, and any time I pull one of their cards, I hold onto it.
In the late 90’s, Jason Kendall was the catcher for the Pirates, and while the team was terrible, he was a blast to watch. I wasn’t collecting then, but he kept me interested enough to remain a fan of the team.
Lately, as the Pirates have become a legitimate team, it has been amazing to watch the likes of Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen. These two young talents are part of an amazing outfield. Both of them have such a love for the game, it is hard not to root for them. They have moved into my PC list and I have enjoyed collecting their cards.