definitely last forever in my memory
Pittsburgh’s memory box is full
of Pirates stuff right now, too. But
nowhere near full enough just yet.
There is room, and there are a lot of
people working hard on what you’ll
put into it next. “Just being here, just
existing is not enough,” Huntington
Games in other sports have
built-in narratives. A baseball game
does not. There is no ticking clock,
no sudden-death overtime. The
tiniest things at the beginning can
turn out to make the difference
at the end. But an entire baseball
season, now that has a narrative arc.
The 2013 season was thrilling, but
Pittsburghers do not want it to be a
stand-alone story. We want it to be a
new first chapter.
Federal Street is not crowded
at midafternoon when a figure in a
gray hoodie crosses the road, head
down, headphones on. He passes
several businessman types who
barely look up. The hood hides
the trademark dreadlocks. One
of America’s best-known baseball
players disappears down a side
You’ll see him soon. Some
familiar faces may be gone, replaced
by new ones. But when spring
training’s first pitch is thrown
and the first bat is swung down
in Bradenton not long from now,
something will seem possible again
for the first time in a long time.
That parcel of possibility, not the
extraordinary season past, is the
most valuable gift of all.
Until then, pop open the
memory box. Look inside at the
souvenirs of 2013 and what they
promise. Remember that October
night by the river when the ground
shook. Remember that we can
expect other nights like it. And that
they will be soon. And that they
will be here. And that they will be
■ Pittsburgh native Ted Anthony lives in Hampton
Township, where he and his wife are raising two Pirates
fans who deeply wish they had been able to accompany
him to the interviews conducted for this article.
Occasionally, he still misses Richie Hebner.