The fun never stops.
Settling in from my last baseball trip, that you read about in my last one, I’m gearing up for another on a more Major level.
Yes it has to do with the Pirates. No, it’s not in Pittsburgh.
The Bucs are in Atlanta for a four-game weekend series and I’ll be there for three of them.
History hasn’t been kind to the Pirates playing in the ATL.
Mention the names Jerry Meals or Sid Bream to a Pittsburgh fan and you’re asking for trouble. Rather, stinging images that ruined games and seasons, while adding plenty of agony to already troubled years.
July 26, 2011 and October 14, 1992. Nineteen years and nearly two months apart.
Two plays that have defined the Pirates’ history.
The Pirates went 19-42 the remainder of the way, last year, after sitting at 53-48 after Jerry Meals called Julio Lugo safe for the Braves’ 4-3 win in 19 innings.
Sid Bream’s slide at home was a little more clear cut, but still a call that could’ve gone either way. Yet no baseball enthusiast would’ve guess what it would do to a franchise for the next 20 years. Since that National League Championship game 7, Pittsburgh has failed to reach the postseason. The Pirates haven’t even had a winning season since Sid’s slide.
An awful twist of faith, a string of mismanagement, bad luck or some kind of weird hex — whatever has haunted the Pirates the most — it hasn’t made them win.
Atlanta owns a 93-61 advantage over the Bucs since that fateful NLCS.
Let’s hope I can reverse the curse.
Photo credits: youjivenmeturkey.com, hedgeco.net nbcsports.com, fansided.com