Seriously, it must have been an awful sight to see the travesty of Interleague Play going on in Pittsburgh.
You know how every year someone writes the obligatory “Interleague Play Has Run Its Course” article? Those writers must have been banging their keyboards with disgust at the events at PNC Park.
You see the Orioles came to town… an American League team. And like the Pirates, the Orioles are currently under .500 (just like both teams have been every year for more than a decade.)
But the teams were honoring the 1971 World Series. And both teams were dressed in the uniforms of that series.
The Pirates were decked out in their yellow hats and pull over uniforms.
The belt was part of the pants and basically they were pajamas… pajamas worn by champions.
The Orioles broke out the smiling bird cap. And when Mark Reynolds made a nice stop at third base, it brought back some memories of Brooks Robinson.
And there was a reunion of the players involved in the series, including a big hand for Bill Mazeroski and Manny Sanguillen.
And with it being the 40th anniversary of the Series, the city of Pittsburgh could celebrate that title with some added nostalgia with the Orioles in town.
Or as purists of the game would call it “A travesty!”
The 1971 Pirates were a significant team as Bruce Markusen wrote in his wonderful The Team That Changed Baseball. They were the first team to field a starting lineup that didn’t have a single white player and broke the barrier for bringing in minority players at all levels. It was one thing to sign a super star black player or Latin player. But that Pirate team fielded a roster that included role players and relievers of color, something that was not common before.
You wouldn’t want to celebrate a team like that.
Or if you do, make sure you do it when the Rockies are in town, or the Padres or the Nationals.
Just not the ORIOLES! Because even though the Orioles are directly linked to the 1971 Pirates, they are an American League team… and having an American League team and a National League play each other is just bad for the sport.
I feel for those purists. They must have seen that celebration and said “Baseball is ruined.”
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