PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Opening Day is here and baseball fans are rejoicing.
The Pirates' season began on the road against the Cincinnati Reds this afternoon. And for many people, baseball season couldn't come soon enough.
While the gates to PNC Park won't open for another week; today, vendors were busy stocking the ballpark for the home opener on April 13.
Meanwhile, the PNC Park grounds crew was collecting specialized dirt scoop by scoop and giving the warning track a fresh coating, and finishing touches were being done on the new standing room-only area beneath the scoreboard.
Fans are excited for the start of the season.
"Take the season. Go to the Series. It's the beginning of the season. Everybody has a shot," Cathy Obringer said.
"It's exciting. They have a lot of potential this year. A lot of people are picking them to do well," Andrew Dunlevy said.
Optimism is infectious this time of year.
"I kind of like them. I think they are really coming along," said Chuck Scholz, of Jeannette. "I like Cutch's attitude the best; he's really into it, and I think they're young enough, they're good enough and they're hungry."
Perhaps one of the biggest changes for the team this year is having a different catcher.
"Cervelli's shaping up. I mean, he's not Russell Martin, but I think he's going to be very good. He can throw 'em out at second base and that's what we need," Obringer said.
And with every season, fans are hoping the Pirates' disabled list is a short one.
"Biggest hurdles? Staying healthy. They have a lot of depth, which is great to have but you gotta keep your stars healthy," Dunlevy said.
Meanwhile, the Pirate Parrot stopped by KDKA-TV today and in so many words said he's optimistic, which is exactly how fans are feeling right now.
"It's a long season, so hopefully it pans out and we'll see them in October," Dunlevy said.
"Hey, I'm hopeful. I'm looking forward to going to the World Series. At least the playoffs," Obringer said.
The home opener is next Monday at 1:35 p.m. against the Detroit Tigers. Limited tickets are available, but they are going fast.
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