Big Lead Sports Bar

5/06/2008

WANTED: YOUR VOTE FOR THE BIGGEST PIRATE FAN

A few weeks ago, I thought it would be fun to uncover the World's Biggest Pittsburgh Pirate Fan. After 15 years of losing, I wanted to throw the challenge out there and see what kind of stories we could uncover.

Luckily, you came up with some great responses, as we feature 10 finalists ranging in age from 14 to 87.

The winner, as judged by your vote at the end of this article, will receive a signed, framed Willie Stargell lithograph AND a set of Freddy Sanchez autographed, game-used batting gloves courtesy of http://www.steelcityauctions.com/.



What makes the World's Biggest Pittsburgh Pirate Fan? I'll leave that up to your discretion. The voting, as decided by you, will crown the winner on May 12, 2008. The voting officially closes on 11:59 PM EST on May 11, 2008.

Below you will find the original entries from our 10 finalists. The blurbs and photos are entirely in their words exactly as they were received. Read them carefully and make your vote count!

1. IRV FIRMAN - PITTSBURGH, PA

NOMINATED BY RICH PERKINS:

On behalf of my friend Irv, I nominate him as the World's Biggest Pirate Fan. He has endorsed this submission of him but is too humble to nominate himself.

Here is why Irv is the World's Biggest Pirate Fan: Irv has been a diehard Buccos fan since he was a very young child, ever since the days in grade school when Irv "Scrap Iron" Firman emulated Phil Garner. Rare was the third grader who would venture to second base fearing Irv's tree trunk legs and fiery attitude that led to more than a few dustups on the baseball and kickball fields of Western PA.

There are probably a few, but not many, who can claim that they bleed the same Bucco blood as Irv. How many folks have attended more than 30 games a year since 1985 (other than from 1988 to 1992 when Irv was away at school)? Who else, in the mid 80s drug scandalized era of Parker, Berra, and Scurry would be inspired enough by Pirate baseball to create and display at over 30 home games, a banner supporting the forgettable Joe Orsulak? Remember the "Slak Pak"?? Of course you do. Yet, Irv was not unaware - how many recognized the steroid induced play of hated Met Lenny Dykstra in the late 80s? Irv did and as a passionate Bucco fan serenaded Lenny with unending chants of "Ramdike", his criminal sounding nickname on his APBA card. How many would play entire seasons of APBA baseball managing the Pirates of the mid 80s - and somehow lead that ragtag bunch to division titles? How many, in the era before the internet, would have the Post-Gazette delivered to his college dorm room, arriving 4-5 days after publication and STILL read with rapture the game recaps of Bucs games about which he knew the outcome?

How many folks, upon hearing of Doug Drabek's complete game victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in 1990 to clinch the NL East for the Bucs and give them their first postseason appearance since 1979, sprinted all the way across his college campus, screaming the entire way, prompting not only gaping stares but also pitiful looks by the coeds who would forever remember his mad dash, question his sanity and deny him dates in later years? How many folks went to EVERY GAME of the Buccos-Braves series in 1991 and 1992 - BOTH HOME AND AWAY!

After the misery of the 80s and the unmentionable 92 game 7 ending, who else would wallow in depression until granted an opportunity to cleanse his soul at the 1994 All Star Game FanFest by altering history? Who else would proudly walk up to the recording booth and assuredly announce the climatic moments of that fateful 9th inning in 1992 and end the game, not with the Braves celebrating, but with the umpire calling Bream OUT!! and proclaiming that "The Pirates are going to the World Series!!! And the Braves are pounding on Sid Bream for being so slow!!"? And who else would, over the subsequent 15 years, respond to any mention of that play with a confused stare, stating that Bream was out, brandish his recording of the play as proof, and convincingly believe that the Bucs did indeed march on to the World Series?

And it was only after supplanting that horrific event that Irv decided to indoctrinate his 4 month old son into Pirate fandom by flying him down to Atlanta for opening day 2008 so that his son can see the very first Pirates game played during his son's lifetime. Not many guys would do this, but for Irv its just a given (Irv sat 9 rows behind home plate on 3/31). For Irv, if the Pirates aren't playing, life isn't worth living - a Bucco loss or an afternoon at PNC beats a day at the office any day.

On top of that, how many guys that you know pray for the Pirates every day? Attached is a photo of a prayer session Irv arranged with a rabbi (Irv is the guy furthest to the right, rabbi is seated on the left) to, among other things, pray for a Bucco winning season.

For the World's Biggest Pirates Fan, you need to look no further than Irv Firman.


2. GRACE ZIMMERMAN

NOMINATED BY SEAN DONOVAN:

I'm submitting this entry on behalf of Grace Zimmerman. She will be 87 in June and has been a Pirate fan since her family got their first radio around 1935. She used to listen with her dad, who was also a big fan of the team. Grace started by listening to Rosie Rosewell and has followed the team through eight decades, and there is a brick with her name on it next to the Honus Wagner statue outside PNC Park. Even when the Pirates are having a down year she still listens/watches through game #162, and, of course, roots for the National League team in the World Series each fall.

3. SEAN RYAN - Greensboro, NC

I grew up in a family of Pittsburgh sports supporters. I was born into a Pirate family. My dad would tell me stories of Maz, Roberto, and Chuck Tanner. Living in Erie, Pa. allowed me to watch the Buccos on FSN all season long. When I moved to Youngstown for college in 2002, I still watched every game I could, even if that meant skipping my night classes. If the game wasn’t televised I was sure to keep updated via the internet and/or news highlights. I’m currently living in Greensboro, North Carolina. No Pirate games on TV unless they play the Braves or Cubs. I still check out mondesishouse.com and get in game updates from the “leader” to stay informed on the black and gold.

I still follow the team from off-season workouts to mid-May when they are usually mathematically eliminated from the post-season, and everyday after that year round. More reasons why I am the biggest fan from childhood till now:

· While kids grew up pretending to be pitchers like Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson, I was perfecting my Randy Tomlin slider in my backyard.

· I told my girlfriend and her parents I couldn’t make an anniversary dinner date because I was sick. I really was just watching the Pirates and Cubs battle for 5th in the NL Central.

· Lanny Frattare allowed me to sit in the press box when I was 12. He and the rest of the crew were gracious and welcoming. We still have a correspondence to this day.

· I won’t buy any video baseball game unless a Bucco is on the cover. MLB2K9 with Nyger Morgan would be sweet!

· Guys skip work for the NCAA Tournament. I skip work to watch Nady crush the Braves in extra innings on opening day.

· I hate Otis Nixon for robbing Andy Van Slyke. I physically hate him.

· I do have some memorabilia and merchandise, but not a lot. Simply because I’m not making Matt Morris money.

· My childhood was dedicated to making the argument of Jeff King being the most underrated player in baseball history.

· I love the Pens, but I would trade a Stanley Cup victory for a .500 season.

· I have applied for a position on 5 separate occasions and have been rejected each time. Probably because my passion opposes a healthy work environment.

· Don’t know any better. Friends and family have left the Bucco bandwagon long ago. I can’t picture myself rooting for another team.

The truth is, it is hard to describe why I am a bigger Pirates fan the others in this contest. The Bucs don’t win, their management is worse than the L.A. Clippers, and Ed Sprague was an All-Star for us not too long ago. Freakin’ Ed Sprague! But I do love them. I know we’re going to have a magical season soon. Teams bust out the champagne bottles for a division crown or a successful playoff series. I’ll do it for an 83 win season. As tired, angry, and apathetic you are to hearing it; keep the faith as Pirates fans. We’ll start winning soon, and it will be the best feeling in all our sports worlds. I stand in the front to support them during their losing seasons, so I can be at the head of the line when they begin to win. GO PIRATES!


4. MIKE MEY - BETHEL PARK, PA

Traditionally when we are young, we will all go to our first Pirate game with our fathers or grandfathers and we will take in the sights and the sounds of the game. Some people can remember Forbes Field and the glory days of Pirates baseball. When they go to the games at PNC Park now they can reminisce about all of the good times they had, including watching Bill Mazeroski knock in the game winner against future golfer Ralph Terry. I can't. I'm 18 years old. I'm not even old enough to remember Barry Bond's steroid-less arm fail to make the play at the plate against Sid Bream, the man who ran like he was carrying a refrigerator on his back. My only Pirates memories are going to the games with family and friends and hoping we'll at least win this game. I can't say I've been seriously holding out for a Bucos World Series Title any time yet in my life, because I don't think our managers/owners/GMs have cared enough to field a World Series Team, but every year I go to at least three or four games with retard-like devotion, always thinking that we'll do better someday, but then not seeing it and still expecting the same result next year. I don't go to the games for the glitz of promotions like some modern "fans", however. Fireworks night with REO Speedwagon? Jack Wilson Bobble-head night? Oprah Winfrey's Everybody gets a Humpback Whale night? None of those are for me. I go to see my Bucos battle out another season no matter what shiny objects are being given away. I get a bucket wings and sit there for nine solid innings (or more so far this season) next to my brother, who's sporting his Kent Tekulve shirt that's not quite that vintage, perfectly content watching the team that I will be back to see next year, and the year after. And I'll keep going back whether the Pirates are battling for the Pennant or to stay out of the NL cellar.

5. GREG MARKS - PITTSBURGH, PA

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, so I watch just about every Pirates, Penguins, and Steelers game that I can find the time to enjoy. But when somebody asks me what my favorite team is, I smile and quickly respond “The Pittsburgh Pirates.” Now you might say, “The Steelers just won a Super Bowl and the Penguins have that Dynamic Duo that everyone has been talking about.” That’s true, but baseball is more than a sport to me, so our lack of success does not make this team less enjoyable to watch than the other winning teams in Pittsburgh. There’s no way around it, I will always love the Pirates.

I grew up viewing baseball like most children do in today’s society. I was bored with it, so I quit playing baseball at the age of 11. I grew up playing hockey because it was more exciting to me. I always enjoyed playing and watching hockey because it is the fastest sport and consists of constant action, but this was all about to change. I don’t know why, but I do know when baseball took over my life as my one and only passion. At the beginning of the 2002 season, I started to watch baseball games more and more. It wasn’t because we had a huge star or a young savior that everyone was looking to for the future. It was something bigger than that. All I knew is that I had become fixated with the sport of baseball. I acknowledge that baseball is a sport, but to me it is more like that t-shirt phrase, “Baseball is Life.” Baseball has a rich history and is a huge part of America’s culture. I began to soak up as much as I could of baseball’s long history.

I think the first thing that I realized was enjoyable about baseball was that it is timeless. This not only makes it less stressful, but also allows the game to theoretically go on forever. I really enjoyed the fact that if you keep hitting, the game cannot end. The next aspect that started to catch my mind was the managerial strategy that was involved in this sport. Most sports have defensive systems that the offense has to deal with, but in baseball the defense controls the game. For this reason, the game of baseball is managed differently and determined by situations. I began to read baseball books to gain more insight into the strategy of baseball and I haven’t stopped.

I grew up about 20 minutes outside of Pittsburgh, so I attended games regularly as a child. I remember one year in particular in the closing years of Three Rivers Stadium. They had a dice game that you were guaranteed to win a prize every time that you played. Some of the prizes were better than others, but I always seemed to find a way to win free general admission tickets for a future date. I always had fun attending Pirate games, so this was simply my way of being able to attend as many games as possible. My father reluctantly took me to about 10 of these consolation prizes, in addition to the games that we would normally attend, even though these “prize” seats were located in the 500 level.

When I attend games today, it is a much different experience. I enjoy spending a night out with my friends and socializing, as well as the thousands of Pittsburghers that have come out for the game. But now I am much more focused on the game, usually keeping score to provide the trends that have occurred in the game. However, I don’t allow this to distract me from the game. If anything it makes me more focused. If a game is laid back, that is how I act. If a game is intense, with a lot of “Let’s Go Bucs” chants, I try to get everyone involved. My goal during a Pirate game is simply to take everything in, which is to me the most important aspect of baseball. The thing I like most about the Pirates winning a game at home is the fact that everyone in PNC Park is happy. I have a good time no matter what the outcome is, but it upsets me when the Pirates do poorly and get booed. The only time I can ever remember booing at a Pirate game is when Aramis Ramirez walked to first base after he hit a pop-up. I’m pretty sure it was the loudest chants that the Pirates got on that night. It’s sad that we are forced to give away players due to our finances, but at least we get to see a lot of young talent willing to do whatever it takes to get playing time, instead of paying hotshots eight figures to disappoint.

Even though I see myself as quite knowledgeable of the game of baseball, I am still just as blinded by optimism as any other diehard fan. I come up with reasons for us to succeed and overlook our weaknesses, hoping that this is the year. This should not be looked down upon by any means. In my opinion the two best things about sports are that you might see something that you have never seen before and that at the beginning of the year each team has the possibility of winning a championship.

I imagine that there will be plenty of Pirate fans that enter this contest that possess enormous amounts of Pirates apparel. I am not one of those people. In fact, I have never owned a Pirates jersey in my life. This is not because I do not have favorite players, if anything it is because I have too many favorite players. However, when I read the guidelines of the contest and saw that a picture was encouraged, I knew exactly what physical symbol to share because I consider it to be my badge of honor. The picture that I enclosed is one taken of me a few weeks into my freshman year of college. I am now about to complete my senior year and I have worn that exact Pirate hat almost every day since that picture was taken. This is my way of telling people that I consider myself to be the biggest Pirate fan, because I wear this year round. In December, most people are sporting their favorite NFL shirt, but all I need to represent is a block lettered P.

Now one thing to keep in mind is that I was born in 1986. I am about to graduate college, yet I have no memory of a winning baseball team in Pittsburgh. This does not bother me as much as most people would think. I know that the Pirates are seen as the laughing stock of baseball, but I am proud to be a Pirates fan. I am happy to see on a Pirate game earlier this month that they have hung a quote from Roberto Clemente on the way to the dugout that reads, “When I put on this uniform, I feel I am the proudest man on Earth.” The Pirates have won five World Series championships, which is something that can never be taken away from the city of Pittsburgh. I truly think this is the reason that my peers have unanimously awarded me as the greatest Pirate fan alive. Just like many Pittsburghers, I will never give up on my allegiance to the Pirates, but my pride in the Pittsburgh Pirates is what separates me from the rest of the crowd.

6. THOMAS GIAMPOLO - DES MOINES, IA

My name is Nicholas G.G.Giampolo a 28 year old from Des Moines Iowa. I have been a Pirates fan for as long as I can remember and consider myself the world’s biggest Pirates fan. The more I thought about it though; I have to admit to be the worlds second behind my father Thomas Giampolo also from Des Moines Iowa. Dad was born and raised in Pittsburgh and eventually made his way to Iowa. Every year I am the type of fan that is totally into the season and live for every day, until they rip my heart out around June 5th when the pirates are mathematically eliminated (ok, almost eliminated). My father on the other hand seems to find hope around every corner, I really don’t know how someone can continue to watch the games when we are getting killed but he does. Every morning when the guy gets to work he is checking the four big websites Mondesi’s House, The Post Gazette, The Trib, and Pittsburgh Pirates.com for news. He owns a home in Des Moines which he has Direct TV for his viewing pleasure. He buys the FSN sports package and the MLB package to ensure he doesn’t miss an inning. He also owns a lake home in Minnesota where he also purchases the same FSN and MLB packages for when he is away from home for the weekend. He doesn’t buy these for baseball. He buys them for the PITTSBURGH PIRATES. I don’t know anyone that is willing to year in and year out shell out that kind of cash for a team that is quickly working on there 16 consecutive loosing season. We have made it back to the Burgh the last couple years for the home opener. Dad gets mad at me when I start calling the team the SUCKOS (even though it is true)! I guess the reason my father is the world’s biggest pirates fan is because; he was the one that introduced me to the team that I love and root for and he is the one that keeps even me interested in the Bucs until the last day of the season!

7. JOE DOPRAK - PITTSBURGH, PA

Mondesi's House,

In your search for Pittsburgh's biggest buccos fan, I would like to submit myself. Quite simply, I am submitting this photo as proof. This photo was taken tailgating for the Slovak Day promotion last year.That's how excited I get for every Buccos game.


8. STEPHANIE KARR - GREENSBURG, PA

My name is Stephanie Karr and I am 54 years old. I was born in the eastern part of Pa. and never knew anything about the Pittsburgh Pirates until I went to college at I.U.P. at the age of 18 in Sept. 1972. There, on my first date with my now husband of 30 years, he took me to my 1st ever professional baseball game. It was a playoff game with the Cinn.Reds and the Pirates. We won the game and i was hooked on the Pirates right away. I loved it-watched the games on TV, listened on the radio. It was so exciting! I have been hooked ever since. My husband and I go to the caravan tours in January each year and Piratefest. We stand in line for the autographs and pictures. I have so many pictures-me with Willie Stargell, me with Jim Leyland,me with Chuck Tanner. You get the picture. Many years we make it to Bradenton to spring training. We haven't missed an opener in April for as long as i can remember. The last 15 years have been hard, but I haven't given up. My friends and coworkers make terrible fun of me and the Pirates many losses. I have faith that someday it will get better. But meanwhile I keep watching the games, listening on the radio, going to as many games as possible and praying that soon it will be the Pirates' year. I have passed this love down to my 3 children who enjoy the game, but not quite as much as me. I often tell my children, who are 20, 23, and 25, that it is hard to be a Pirate fan-not everyone can do it-you have to have a strong constitution and a lot of patience. GO PIRATES!!!


9. ZACH POZUN - AUSTIN, TEXAS

There are only two things I know about the movie “A League of Their Own”: it stars the always–unpleasant Rosie O’Donnell and it features the quote “There’s no crying in baseball.” Whoever said that was clearly not a Pirates fan. I am twenty-three years old; the practical consequence of this fact is that the Pirates have not only been losers for the majority of my life (and the entirety of my life as a sports fan), but my earliest memories are of them losing in the playoffs three years in a row. Good times. Yet, year after year, I keep coming back—even after I had to move out of Pittsburgh to go to grad school, I’ve shelled out for MLB.tv to watch the games online. Just as I have wondered many times about previous girlfriends—and as they have wondered about the Pirates and me—what, exactly, am I getting out of this relationship? I suppose I should start from the beginning.

As an artist and ex-hippie, my dad was not a sports fan, let alone able to explain what a fielder’s choice is. My mom, however, was a Pirate fan from birth. She grew up listening to the Gunner on the radio and was responsible for the fact that 6-year-old me could list the entire lineup of the 1971 and 1979 Pirates. I submit that I was the only child in the ‘80s on the entire planet to grow up with a picture of Richie Hebner and Kent Tekulve on his wall. Before I could tell what was going on the field, I was averaging about 10 games a year. My parents would bring toddler Zach to the game with a big bag of unshelled peanuts. By the time I had finished the bag, carelessly tossed the shells onto the ground and/or nearby fans, and become hyperactive, it would be at least the seventh inning stretch. Over time, of course, I devoted more attention to the action on the field rather than to my bag of peanuts. This decision led to basically all of my early childhood experiences with heartbreak and disappointment.

As a child with an unflinchingly rigid bedtime, there was little chance of staying up late to watch games. Yet, armed with my little clock radio, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the voice of Lanny Frattare filled my summer nights. It’s no wonder I was always a little bit sleepy during the day in kindergarten and first grade during the months of April, May, and September. During the infamous 1992 NLCS, my mom would come in every night and would leave a piece of paper with a smiley face or a frowny face on my pillow based on if the Pirates won or lost. I remember waking up the day after game 7, seeing the frowny face and immediately bursting into tears. I have no clue what was in the note she sent in the next day, but I don’t think I went to school. I spent the next few weeks writing letters and drawing pictures imploring Chico Lind, Barry Bonds, and Doug Drabek not to leave. They did. I can honestly remember my mom sitting me down in our old kitchen and explaining to me—as you would to a child who was a budding sports addict—that my favorite players wouldn’t be back and the Pirates might not be good for a few years. I didn’t realize then that “a few years” meant “the entirety of your pre-teen and teen years… plus your early 20s.”

Still, I hate to make it sound like being a Pirates fan has been nothing but downers. In 1992 or thereabouts, I went to Piratefest in the Monroeville ExpoMart. In addition to meeting Chuck Tanner and Dick Groat and spending an hour and a half in line for Orlando Merced’s autograph, I left with two videotapes. One was an hour-long retrospective on the 1991 Pirates. God, I wish I still had it today, if only for the humor factor. All I can remember is that it featured Andy Van Slyke yelling at some long-forgotten pitcher about rebounding during a locker room shootaround with a mini basketball hoop. In a moment that portended the current broadcast team, John Wehner told a long rambling story about growing up in Carrick and wearing Pirates pajamas to school. Needless to say, I watched this video about a thousand times. The other video was even more priceless—it was a documentary on the life of Roberto Clemente. I’d heard the stories from my mom and grandfathers, but that video was young Zach’s first experience with seeing the legend playing. Clemente was my first hero. That fall I went as him for Halloween, named my goldfish Roberto, selected 21 as my favorite number, and watched that video so many times the tape started to break. Years later I’d buy several Clemente patches and sew them onto a hat. #21 will always hold a special place in my heart.

My childhood memories of the Pirates are composed of short memory snippets. Lloyd McClendon was one of my favorite players ever since I attended a game where he hit a grand slam. I saw a bench-clearing brawl in person. I sat in peanut heaven, along the first base lines, and everywhere else in both stadiums. I went to a doubleheader against the Padres with a friend’s family and made a big stink when they wanted to leave in the middle of the second game. I saw a seemingly endless stream of third basemen pass through—Freddy Garcia, Chance Sanford, Ed Sprague, and other general nobodies. I watched all of the Cordova/Rincon no-hitter on TV. I grew up on stories of Harvey Haddix’s greatest game ever pitched, Maz’s fluid double plays, and the old-time greats like Wagner and Traynor. I read Pirate biographies and allowed myself to dream during the 1997 Freak Show season. I hated my 7th grade English teacher after she told me that she didn’t think the Pirates deserved a new stadium. In Little League when other kids pretended to be Griffey or McGwire, I pretended to be Jermaine Allensworth.

Since I’ve graduated high school, I’ve stayed a devoted fan even without my mom’s influence. When I lived in DC, I went to see the Pirates in RFK with my friends and even converted my Bulgarian friend to be a Pirates fan. At one game I wore a Dan Marino Pitt jersey and someone shouted at me from across the section “LACES OUT DAN!” That isn’t Pirates related—I just wanted to share. When I spent a summer of undergrad in Pittsburgh working on campus, I bought season tickets with my best buddy from home. Staying up for the 18 inning game with my two best friends only to see it end with Jason Bay bowling over a catcher definitely ranks among my top ten life experiences. I went with that same buddy to see the Pirates in the Jake in Cleveland. I was heartbroken when the Pirates took Bullington over Upton. I listened live on the web just to see if the Pirates would take Neil Walker. I read Moneyball and imagined myself using my number-crunching skills to turn around my beloved franchise—I realize that the economics of small market baseball will always be against us but a little logic and original thought would go a long way. When volunteering at FanFest during the All-Star Game, I saw Dave Littlefield and lingered awkwardly like a sex offender waiting for him to finish his conversation while I thought up various questions and insults. When the time came, I introduced myself and nervously stammered out “good luck at the trading deadline.” It’s no “are you an idiot or just a yes-man?” but, in all fairness, he really needed to have luck on his side because an eye for talent was not. Still, I have faith that some day the Pirates will draft, sign, and trade well and become the new model small market franchise.

Now that I’m a grad student in Austin, I’ll have the chance to cheer for my team in Enron/Minute Maid in addition to watching them online. I’ll continue to sing the praises of Nate McLouth and Ian Snell to a generation of people who have grown up regarding the Pirates the same way I regard the Cincy Bengals—a perpetually awful team that has always been so and always will be so. I may well be the only person in Texas who knows the true history of this storied franchise. I haven’t lost my faith yet. Just as I once went on a Joe Beimel-related profanity-laced tirade in front of a bunch of undergrads I’d met only hours ago, I’ll continue to care fervently—perhaps a wee bit too much at times. I have complete faith that some day I’ll be training my kids to be Pirates fans and that they’ll be seeing a winning team.

Zach Pozun
Austin, Texas


Me with some friends at the BoSox game we tailgated. Clearly, I am the only real fan—I’m the only one in a Pirates (NOT Steeler) jersey AND keeping score.

Watching the Pirates in RFK with my Bulgarian friend, Yana. Note my t-shirt says “The sports team from my area is superior to the sports team from your area.” Take that, Nationals fans!

Wearing my self-sewn Clemente patch hat with my dad on a gondola in Venice.


10. BRANDON RILEY - PITTSBURGH, PA

My name is Brandon Riley and I am 14 years old. I have always been a big Pirate’s fan, but within the last 4 years or so I have become a much greater fan. I take blow after blow from people at school and even within my home, but my loyalty has yet to falter. I have been to opening day 2 of the past 3 years and plan to keep going. I usually go to a fair amount of games whenever school or sports don’t interfere. Within the past year, I have remodeled my bedroom into a Bucco sanctuary. The walls sport the Pirates yellow with the ceiling white and the closet doors black. I have a wall-covering mural of PNC Park on one of my walls. On another wall, I have an autographed, framed Adam LaRoche jersey mounted on the wall with a mounted bat featuring the autographs of Jason Bay and Freddy Sanchez. On top of my dresser I have an array of items I got from Piratefest 2008. I got a Pirate’s t-shirt with about 7 autographs and 5 player cards that are autographed. In conclusion, I feel that I am one of, if not the biggest Pirate’s fans from anywhere.


NOW IT'S YOUR TURN TO VOTE AND DECIDE WHO IS THE WORLD'S BIGGEST PIRATE FAN!


37 comments:

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

Someone please tell Irv Firman that even if John McSherry's replacement behind the plate on 10/14/92 had called Bream out, the game was already tied and would have gone to the 10th inning.

I vote to immediately disqualify Irv for not having his facts straight.

OK, maybe that's too harsh. I really don't care.

Statesville Housing Center said...

Can't vote for Grace something wrong with the poll settings.

Steve said...

joe doprak IS pittsburgh

AJ said...

is there anyway that they all can be winners?

Anybody who still follows this team with any amount of enthusiasm deserves an award.

oh wait... they're called bobbleheads.

nevermind.

key191919 said...

long live the marx

jimmy_the_freak said...

What, you mean Ronnie Florian didn't make the cut? I call FIX!

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Good thing there are other likeminded posters that voted for the guy with the shortest explaination, yet with the picture that portrays him as the drunkest candidate, Joe Doprak!

But I admit I felt a little guilty that I picked the drunken idiot guy over Grace. But screw that, she has enough votes! You know everybody else is going to vote for the nice, grandmotherly lady anyways.

mondesishouse said...

Apparently Ronnie Florian doesn't read this site, because he would've undoubtedly been the runaway winner.

Frankly, I'm surprised no one submitted a nomination on his behalf.

Steve said...

louis lipps is my homeboy hit the nail on the head......

P Niddy said...

as much as i would like to vote for one of my hunkie brethren, i'm casting a vote for grace

Steve said...

you're no hunkie

Joe said...

Joe Doprak here. Was looking at the profile and realized that I forgot something.

This was taken at the Donnie Iris Boo Cruise and it's entitled "The Pirates 1990's Logo Man After 15 Years of Alcoholism and Agony." Enjoy.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12007227@N02/?saved=1

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Looks like it's a two person race between Joe Doprak, and Grace.


Interesting dynamic there. You have the nice old lady vs. the drunken guy.

AJ said...

I heard a rumor that even Ronnie Florian has given up on the Bucs this year... now he can finally finish putting that porch on his house.

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

Cast mny vote for Ronnie Florian. In his absence, I go with Doprak. Anyone who goes to the Donnie Iris Booze Cruise is pure Pittsburgh.

Also, agreed Lou Lipps. People need to keep it short. And pithy, like Bill O'Reilly would say.

AJ - part of me thinks that anyone who still lives and dies (insert joke here) with the Pirates deserves what they get. And that's fireworks & bobbleheads.

Brian said...

Pretty slim pickens.

Steve said...

big deal....grace is old, who gives a crap. in 60 years you can take pictures of joe dopirak after the buccos 75th losing season and i gurantee they'll be a lot more entertaining than graces.

CausTodd said...

joey d. dollar store bucco shades.. undefeated.

cthomassucks said...

stephanie in greensburg gets my vote...IUP is the shit. plus i can relate to the whole getting made fun of at work for being a pirates fan...i definetely know how that goes..go bucs!! go stephanie!!

#1 blogger said...
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Steve said...

uh oh, looks like someone's grandson has been reading!

RP said...

Someone please tell Cecil from Cecil Twp to get a creative mind that could come up with an original moniker AND enough literary license to imagine the Bucs possibly winning an extra inning game 7 and moving on. Or is the Bucco induced pain too much to even imagine the Bucs possibly winning such a game?!?

My vote is for Irv, and the rest of you should follow suit, unless you want the EYES trained on you.

Pitt said...

I've known Joe D for 5 years now. The man embodies Pittsburgh. The man gets excited for the three game series against the Marlins in early August when the Buccos are 15 games under .500. You may ask yourself why? Because its the Pirates and he loves them. He's got my vote.

-Demo

Joe said...

Alright Gents,
I hate to keep posting when I'm competing... but I found yet another picture you may enjoy... I've got a couple more lined up, so as long as I keep increasing, I'll keep posting.

I call this one "Ahrn Man"
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12007227@N02/2475566071/

the nigerian nightmare said...

pretty big swing in votes there overnight.....i smell something foul

allie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
*allie* said...

I want to see a Pirates trivia match between Joe and Sean Ryan, I'm bettin on Ryan.

StephanieKarrSaysGOBUCS said...

Here is a link to STEPHANIE KARR's PHOTOS. My son just came home from college and helped me put them on here. ENJOY. GO BUCS!

http://community.webshots.com/album/563361080jFAEKT

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

I changed my vote to Stephanie since Sloth had a beer in the one picture, and she's giving Chuck Tanner a lap dance in another.

DogMom said...

Hey Steve,
I forwarded your message about "the old lady" to your mom and your gramma. They are looking for you.

the nigerian nightmare said...

How dare I call someone who is 87 old? And my mom is old too, and my gramma is dead, so thanks. Happy mothers day.

DogMom said...

Come on Fans. Do we want a life time pittsburgher or a texan to win this? Let's face it - who goes to more games at spring training and the burg? Who has been a fan the longest? Come on -keep voting for the nice lady!!!

Zach said...

This is Zach. I just wanted to point out that I am NOT a Texan--born and raised in Johnstown, PA, and went to Pitt. Like lots of Pittsburghers have sadly realized, sometimes you have to leave the 'Burgh if you want a job. I'm willing to be called lots of things, including a second place finisher, but I will NOT be called a Texan. I prefer "yinzer-in-exile"

DogMom said...

No offense meant, Zach. Texas is a good place.

the nigerian nightmare said...

congrats to grace

Laticia said...

Oprah's 4 interviews with Jill Bolte Taylor were the first that Oprah did after Eckhart Tolle and they take everything Tolle talks about to another level. Oprah's copy of Jill's book, MY STROKE OF INSIGHT, was dog-eared and all marked up and kept reading from it the way she read from A New Earth and recommended it highly.

Oprah's recommendation was enough for me. I read My Stroke of Insight and I loved it too. This story is as inspiring as The Last Lecture or Tuesdays with Morrie - and even better, it has a Happy Ending!

I bought the book on Amazon because they have it for 40% off retail and they also had an amazing interview with Dr Taylor that I haven't seen anywhere else - Here is the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/My-Stroke-Insight-Scientists-Personal/dp/0670020745/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211471755&sr=1-2

Janvi said...

I read "My Stroke of Insight" in one sitting - I couldn't put it down. I laughed. I cried. It was a fantastic book (I heard it's a NYTimes Bestseller and I can see why!), but I also think it will be the start of a new, transformative Movement! No one wants to have a stroke as Jill Bolte Taylor did, but her experience can teach us all how to live better lives. Her TED.com speech was one of the most incredibly moving, stimulating, wonderful videos I've ever seen. Her Oprah Soul Series interviews were fascinating. They should make a movie of her life so everyone sees it. This is the Real Deal and gives me hope for humanity.