In her latest BUCN 412, Kim Kanoza takes you on a firsthand account at the ballpark with the Yankees in town…
There’s nothing better to do on a Friday night after a long work week then taking the T over to the North Shore to feel the stress steadily leaving your body. There is a mixture of both Pirates and Yankees fans along Federal street, both unsure of what the game will bring.
Go through the gates of PNC Park, walk up the rotunda, taking in the amazing views of the city, smells of the park and settle into our seats. The Pirates will be paying respects to Dan Rooney this evening and the grounds crews are prepping the mound and behind the plate. On the pitching mound, a Steelers emblem is placed and behind the dish “Dan Rooney 1932-2017.” Well done, Pirates.
Baseball is so much more than just a game. When you go to the ballpark you are a part of something, it’s not only who wins or loses, although that is why we watch for the most part, but it’s all about the experience. I think back to the beginning of baseball when it was about getting all dolled up and wearing your Sunday best, men in sports coats and ladies in dresses that made it an event.
A young “trendy” couple sits next to us, he is well dressed down to his oxford wingtips, her dressed in a Yankees fitted sweatshirt but on point. The entire row behind us is empty, and will remain that way through the entire game. I cannot help but hear him throwing small jabs her way as the Pirates score on Jordy Mercer’s home run in the bottom of the first. He explained that they were both from Buffalo and she is a Yankee fan visiting, while he became a Pittsburgher and works at one of the hospitals here. He admitted he doesn’t know very much about the game, but enjoys coming to the ballpark. This became evident when he asked me if the song which began to play was the “mound song” for Freese. I asked, “you mean his walk-up song?” They laughed, “No,” I said. “That is just a song that is played when they approach the mound for a pow wow.”
This reminded me of the time I brought my Mom to the ballpark. I like to think that my love for the game is abso-BUCN-loutely contagious. Anyone who knows me knows I am always talking baseball and posting on social media, can’t help to see if you’re my friend. Mom began watching at home, she would ask what station the game was on. It turned out to be a true blessing later when she became ill and was laid up during the summer after heart surgery. She would look forward to game time to get her through, and even has a favorite player—Cervelli of course.
Once she was well enough we took our first trip to PNC Park. So used to watching on television, here we are sitting in this picturesque ballpark, I explain where everything is on the scoreboard and she says,” how do you know what base they are on? It’s not on the scoreboard?”
“Well, you look down at the bases.” I explain.
“Oh, well that makes sense, “she said with a laugh.
I’ll continue to welcome new fans to the ballpark I enjoy explaining the game, sharing my love and knowledge with them. Baseball has become my date nights with my husband and after 25 years of marriage (Tuesday, April 25th), its renewed our love for each other through another love of mine.