Pittsburgh Pirates’ Jerry Meals Game Anniversary: One Year Later
People may wonder why Pirates fans are “celebrating” this holiday which actually doesn’t technically happen until tomorrow around 1:50am. I have a feeling that for Pirates fans of this generation, this day will be remembered and “celebrated” for years to come for two reasons. First off, it is eerily symbolic of the Pirates during their losing stretch. No luck even when on the cusp of something big while the biggest stage is reserved only for losing. Secondly, if this truly is the year when the Pirates break the .500 mark, this game has a lot to do with it. The Pirates were young and inexperienced last season and the biggest difference between the 2011 and 2012 teams is the clubhouse. This year’s team learned how long of a season baseball is and that even the worst games need to be forgotten.
Except for fans. That’s what the blogosphere and social media do to ya I guess.
I remember this night like it was yesterday because that’s how much it hurt at the time, let alone two months later once the Pirates hit the 90 loss mark. I was on the computer Tweeting and talking to my girlfriend in Arizona and when the throw home hit The Fort’s mitt, I thought the play was over and went back to typing. All of the sudden, I hear the frenzy and look up to see Clint Hurdle screaming in the face of Jerry Meals. I was in shock and couldn’t believe that was how this amazing late inning game went. I watched the game start to finish because it was on ESPN and didn’t want to miss the Pirates’ chance of glory. The fallout was insane. Every baseball man and woman in America jumped on the Pirates’ sympathy trained, but it wasn’t enough to stop the free fall that followed.
As a fan, it seems like Atlanta has our number. The moment I saw the schedule, I assumed the Pirates would need to split the series against the Braves to finish .500 and that somehow we would be eluded by a reincarnation of Sid Bream. It’s a game NO ONE will forget if you’re a Pirates fan in this era. It’s crazy to think one team and two similar plays will forever be symbolic of 20+ seasons of losing. Happy Anniversary everyone!