Fireworks explode over the Allegheny River after Marlon Byrd's 2nd-inning home run. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
In the closing seasons of the losing streak, it became true for people to say "the Pirates have not won in a generation." Years became decades, and soon young people who never knew anything but losing baseball in Pittsburgh were going off to college or starting families.
Born in 1992, I am that generation. Tuesday night's Wild Card victory was important for all Pirates fans, but it had a little more significance for us young folks. We have never seen baseball in Pittsburgh look like that -- a black-washed mass of 40,487 people waving flags and penetrating the psyches of the opposing pitchers.
"I have never seen anything like the scene at PNC Park last night," wrote John Perrotto, who has seen more baseball games in Pittsburgh than we could probably count. "It was a rare case where the fans truly did influence the outcome of a ballgame."
James covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects. He is a Broadcast Journalism student at USC and has written for such outlets as NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. James previously covered the Pirates for Pittsburgh Sports Report. He also broadcasts play-by-play for the USC Trojans baseball team and was awarded the 2013 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship and Allan Malamud Scholarship. James dispenses puns at his Twitter account (@JamesSantelli) where he promises to write in first-person.