The adventure below is the latest in a series sharing my quest to explore Pennsylvania by visiting each of the sixty-seven county seats and eating a hot dog while in town.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania (County Seat for Allegheny County) has many attractions: The Inclined Plane on Mt Washington, The Golden Triangle, Carnegie Institution and all that history but on this day it is all about baseball. My Jane and I have been anticipating a visit to PNC Park and a Pittsburgh Pirate game all summer. My Jane has become a real Pirate fan of late and insisted on attending a game in the best ball park in Major League Baseball.
The day finally arrived and we definitely were not disappointed. To begin with The Pirates beat the Dodgers 6-5 on their way to sweeping the series. Oh Wow!
But, lets begin before the game started. We caught the “T” at the South Hills Mall Station. The attendant must have recognized our rookie status at the ticket machine and came over and told us what to do as she pressed all the buttons. How cool is that? We walked to the platform anxious for our train to arrive and a pleasant gal, (Alice) exclaimed in a stage whisper, “I know where you are going!” I was covered in Pirate clothing so my destination was pretty obvious. Well, Jane sat beside Alice and we had new friends as Alice’s husband Tim wandered over to join the conversation. Alice teaches tennis and Tim helps her with the lessons. Alice told on Tim when she shared that he was a fighter pilot. Tim stated that he flew the A6 (Intruder) which means he was a Navy pilot. I shared my military journey from Navy to Air Force to which he queried, “What made you go bad?” We liked Tim and Alice immediately. I hope they felt the same. Tim looks real good for a guy who survived probably hundreds of controlled crashes on carrier decks.
We watched the other Pirate fans for a clue as to when to get off the train and discovered when the train stopped at Heinz Field that several of the other Pirate fans were watching us for the stop. So, we all went one stop too far and had to walk around Heinz Field and on to PNC Park (The only negative to the day). I was walking with Bob and Randy while My Jane and Bob’s wife followed along behind at a more leisurely pace. Bob was a Marine back when, and has season tickets to Steelers games, now. He also shared with me that Tim was a commander on the USS Forestall (The first air craft carrier built for jet aircraft and was the largest ship a float). Tim sure is a humble guy.
On the other side of us was a couple at their first game this year and a guy attending his sixth game of the season. Everyone was having a good time except maybe the Dodgers fans! The foot long hot dogs from the Federal St Grill (third deck first base side) were great. I can’t wait for the next time we go to PNC Park. Raising the Jolly Roger and singing “Let’s Go Bucks” with thirty thousand of our closest friends after the win was awesome!
After the game My Jane and I visited with the Pirate Hall of Fame inductees as we toured the river walk along the Allegheny. Bill Mazeroski scoring the game seven walk off home run in the 1960 World Series against the Yankees. Willie “Pops” Stargell. He hit more home runs (many monster shots) in the 70’s than anyone else in Major League Baseball. Roberto “The Great One” Clemente. I saw him throw out a base runner who rounded first base too far on a single at Forbes Field. Of course My Jane and I had to stand on the Clemente Bridge which is closed to vehicle traffic on game days. And Honus Wagner who was before my time and part of the first induction class of the Hall of Fame.
We actually got on the right train and off at the correct station on our return to South Hills.
See you next time.