Meet Chris Kiernan, a sophomore sport management mager at West Virginia University. He is from a desolate town in terms of baseball fans; Forked River, New Jersey. A football fan first, Kiernan is growing his legs in terms of baseball fandom. He has been a Tampa Bay Rays fan for the past 5 years, the long run for the Rays in last years playoffs really heightened his interest in the game.
Going to his first game at PNC Park and only a handful of games in his lifetime, Kiernan eagerly anticipated Monday’s Opening Day.
“I was excited for my first trip to PNC Park and even more excited that the tickets were only 12 dollars,” Kiernan said, ” It’s the best value in the amjor leagues.”
A loyal follower of the minor league teams in his Garden State home, Kiernan felt special that the price of tickets are so affordable.
“I can go to a major league game cheaper than I can go to a minor league game.”
While that is surely no low blow at the gameplay of the Pittsburgh ball club as Kiernan enjoyed his time at the most beautiful park in baseball from start to finish.
“Batting practice was cool because I got to talk to a player on my fantasy team (Carlos Lee).
How close you got to the players, everyone around you trying to catch home run balls. My friend, Matt (Me) trying to catch one and missing. It was very funny.”
The pregame festivities also was a treat for Kiernan. “Honestly, my favorite part of the day was when Nate McClouth recieved his Gold Glove.”
The next moment, while memorable for Kiernan was a moment McClouth will soon hope to forget. “Then he missed his first fly ball which I thought was ironic.”
Monday, being his first trip to the Steel City, Kiernan wanted to take in the whole city. As Pittsburghers we know theres no better way to present our fair city than to start with the food.
“I always enjoy myself from the food standpoint of things,” he said after chowing down on his Primanti cheesesteak, ballpark hot dogs and a burger from Red Robin. “The primanti brothers sandwich was a good experience. Once you take half the slaw off, it’s an excellent sandwhich.
While this was his first game in Pittsburgh, Kiernan has attened a handful of major league games. After all is said and done he said the Pirates game ranked in his top three. Opening Day 2006 in Tampa was a favorite, as well as a game last season in Baltimore.
“When I was in the upper deck at Camden Yards was sweet,” he said. “My freind Matt Peaslee (Me again) made a nice play on the beach ball that was floating around. He kept it away from teh security guard. It was amusing.”
While Kiernan walked into the game as a neutral fan, he came out with a greater respect and knowledge of the Pirates.
“I enjoyed the hometown fans cheering on their beloved Buccos.”
He also found his fair share of critiques for the club. “The Pirate need a better bullpen. Matt Capps is a great closer but from the starters and relievers the dropoff is big. The relievers are abysmal.”
With many games ahead as the season is still young Kiernan anticpates his next visit to PNC Park. “I definately plan on wearing my free hat.”