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Creating a Pirates Fan

[Editor’s note: I mentioned to my father that I run the Community Blog and that anyone can write in, and he decided to submit a piece. This is a reminder that you or anyone you know may send us words.]

In 1960, I was a 10-year-old baseball fanatic. For me, live baseball consisted of the Triple-A Seattle Rainiers, and access to major league baseball meant getting your chores done in time to get to watch Pee Wee Reese and Dizzy Dean preach the baseball gospel on the game of the week every Saturday (and if you were living right, sometimes on Sunday). That summer I was lucky enough to get to fly back to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and spend a week with my grandparents. I was transported to a world where if the Tigers had a baseball game on Tuesday, then major league baseball was on the television on Tuesday! Long live Ernie Harwell!

The big buzz that summer was who got the short end of the stick in the big trade when the Tigers sent Harvey Kuenn to Cleveland for Rocky Colavito. Free agency was still a long ways in the future so trades were infrequent, and dealing away the league-leader in average, hits, and doubles (Kuenn) for the leader in homers (Colavito) was a big deal.

Being a young Tigers fan, it was easy to become a life-long Yankee-hater. The Tigers would finish the year 12 games under .500 and 26 games behind New York. From the year of my birth until the year of my 14th birthday, the Yankees were the American League champs every season but two. Back then there were no playoffs, which meant the AL and NL regular-season champs met in the World Series, and the only question at the start of the year was who was going to face the Yankees. Read the rest of this entry »