I’ve been a Pirates fan since my family moved to Pittsburgh when I was 10. I used to go to sleep listening to games on a transistor radio I had placed under my pillow. (Thank goodness for the Free Battery Club at Radio Shack.) My high school marching band was on the turf at Three Rivers Stadium before some games, trying to perform a football halftime show with no yard markers and then playing the national anthem. And if you asked me right now, I could still name most of the roster of the 1979 World Series champions.
As many fans recall, the Bucs went through what could politely be called a long dry spell. After losing to the stinkin’ Braves in the National League Championship Series in 1992, the team didn’t have a winning season until 2013. For many years, this mug would optimistically be pulled out of the cabinet or drawer when spring training rolled around in February, only to be retired for the year in July or August as the team had their annual free fall in the standings.