A roller coaster of emotions: Final Four and Opening Day

This has been a Spring Break I will never forget. Three amazing events all wrapped in a week was so very special.

You all read about my Cooperstown trip and here is a quick, depressing synopsis of my Saturday in Indianapolis.

 

Final Four and Opening Day 085.jpgIt was surreal. Surreal that not only was West Virginia playing in the Final Four but also that I was there to witness it. However, the Mountaineers were shalacked. Up and down, it was ugly. We were killed on the boards and Duke was simply shooting lights out.

Final Four and Opening Day 013.jpg 

It was a great road trip for my WVU buddies and I. Although West Virginia was destroyed 78-57 it was an amazing time with unforgettable memories. It is definitely the best sporting event I have ever been to. Surpassing Game 3 of the Stanley Cup from last summer and the 2006 MLB All Star Game in PNC Park.

As tears flowed down my face Saturday night, I felt a shock of jubilation come Sunday night.

Opening Day was abreast!

I rose at 7 am Monday morning and was on the road to Pittsburgh by 8.

My group of six gathered at Primanti Brothers for a tasty breakfast of meat, coleslaw, fries and tomatoes.

The gates to PNC Park opened at 11:30 and we found ourselves in the left field bleachers. In a “right place at the right time” moment I caught a ground rule double off the bat of an unidentified Dodgers batter. My first Opening Day ball!

From there I ventured over to the Pirates dugout. There I met a fellow blogger, Ms. Kristy of “Hands off My Pirates Booty” 

 

 

Final Four and Opening Day 133.jpgmShe was enjoying batting practice from her beautiful seats right along the dugout, just seven rows back. It not only offers a great view of the game, but the city as well. I am sporting my freshly bought Lastings Milledge T-shirt. I was surprised at the variety of T-shirts offered this year.

The game itself was everything I could have asked for. A win!

 

The jolly roger was raised indeed as the Bucs exploded for an 11-5 victory over the Dodgers.

I was nervous at first as Zach Duke let up two runs in the first inning, however our ace settled down and pitched a solid five innings.

The man of the hour was Garrett Jones, let me re-phrase that, Garrett FREAKING Jones.

Jones went off with a two home run performance and showed he will be our go to guy for power. Both HRs were impressive. The first was a 450 foot blast into the Alegheny River. The other an opposite field homerun to left over the head of Manny Ramirez.

Final Four and Opening Day 158.jpgIt was cool to see Manny. He was greeted with a throng of Boos from the crowd. Although I gave him a standing O as he approached the plate for his first at bat.

Speaking of the crowd, it was great. A sellout crowd of over 39,000 saw the first game of the 2010 season. And boy did they see a beauty. I’m glad the city of Pittsburgh was welcomed with a heralded perforance. I know it will not be packed with 39,000 every game but hopefully today showed what this team can be capable of and bring some new faces to the ballpark.

That being said, this team is solid. Talented in fact, they will surprise some people this year and may, just maybe break that .500 mark and compete after the All Star break. Until then I plan on enjoying each and every game and cannot wait till I am back in the park. Like every year, it was a great Man Day Monday.



Final Four and Opening Day 145.jpg

 

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17 comments

  1. devilabrit

    Matt good win for the Pirates… just one thing the pic with standing looking really cool with Ms Kristy.. who’s the dude behind grabbing himself.. LOL

    Sorry about the Mountaineers…

    -peter
    Phillies Outside

  2. bklyntrolleyblogger

    I hope the fact you lost out to the eventual champ took a little something off the hurt from the tourney. Still can’t beat the experience though…right? I like the look of these Buccs. I’m with you, they can surprise and ruin a couple of team’s days. I left a couple of more encouraging words for you on my response to your comments. I know it’s been a tough go with the Buccs, but hang in there. You’ll look back one day and remember them fondly. These are the Golden Years! Just enjoy your great ball park and the game. Have a great season! I might head to Pitt again this year.
    Mike

  3. rockies2917

    Opening day feels like a holiday doesn’t it? Especially when you get to go to the game. That’s pretty cool you got to go and see the Pirates beat the Dodgers and Manny. I am a little biased being a Rockies fan so I don’t like the dodgers or Manny haha. I have to work during our opening game but I am going to the opening series. I’m going to a game on Sunday! Good luck to you guys this year and yes, BASEBALL IS BACK!
    http://rockies2917.mlblogs.com

  4. steveu12

    That is an amazing couple of weeks. I’ve always wanted to go to a Final Four and watch a basketball game with 70,000 other people. Who knows, maybe my Ohio U will get over the hump of the second round and make a run next year and will face WVU.
    And its also good to see you had a great day Monday (but who didn’t?) Love those new programs too but my only beef is that there is no scorecard in them. A lot of other teams do that. I got sick of paying $2 a game for one so I got my own scorebook. Hope to see you either this spring or summer.
    Steve
    http://section316.mlblogs.com

  5. xcicix

    A standing O for Manny?
    I saw your #85 on the t-shirt before I read the part about it being Milledge, and I knew who it was. That’s my little bit of Pirates knowledge–it’s easy to remember jersey numbers that are really high.
    I’m sorry that your basketball team lost; and I hope the Pirates sweep this series against the Dodgers!

  6. rrrt

    OMG, did you really eat that for breakfast? I think that would give me indigestion for the rest of the day. Sorry about your Mountaineers – I was rooting for them, ‘cuz I really don’t like Duke. But you got to see a great Pirates win!
    Sue
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

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