Saturday, January 24, 2009

PirateFest 2009

I will be heading off to PirateFest 2009 in about 12-hours. Watch for an update to this post sometime later tomorrow.

Edit: There seemed to be a rather large crowd at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for the third and final day of PirateFest 2009. By the time my wife and I got to the convention center, which was shortly after 10am, there was already a long line of Season Ticket Holders and VIPs to get in 1 hour early. In fact, there was a decent line of "regular people" waiting for the doors to open to them at 11am.

I really only had two things I wanted to do while at PirateFest, get a Freddy Sanchez autograph and to see Matt Capps to say "hi" and see how life has been for him.

What's so important about Freddy Sanchez that I needed to get his autograph? Last year, the Pirates sent out these two prints of artwork to Season Ticket Holders. One was of Jason Bay, the other of Sanchez. They are actually pretty nice, so I always thought it would be cool to get them signed and framed and hang them with some of my other sports memorabilia. Thanks to J-Bay being traded to the Red Sox last season, I won't be able to get his print signed until I visit some American League stadium where they will be playing. Anyhow, my wife and I stood in line from 10:30 until 12:15 just to get this print signed. I mentioned how stupid people are to wait in line that long to get things signed by human beings that really are no different than you or I, they just have an above normal athletic ability. However, I took my dumb self and stood in line for nearly two hours and got the print signed.

We didn't hang out long enough to go check out some of the game shows that fans can play with the players. We did, however, checkout one of my favorite places to go during PirateFest, the Lost Treasures game used items store. This is the place where I bought my holy "Amazing Jesus" Bobby Hill BP jersey. Before I mention what I bought there today I suppose I should take a quick journey with you down memory lane...

About a year and a half ago, my wife and I got married. Since we are both huge baseball fans, we decided that following our rehearsal and dinner, we were going to take about 40 family members and friends to the game at PNC Park. My wife is a huge fireworks fan as well, so it all worked out with it being Fireworks Night. That was on September 28, 2007. So, since that time, I always thought that it would be cool to have something, besides the ticket stub, from that game as a memento. The lineup card was one of the better things that I could think of. For the past two years, I have gone to PirateFest and to the store at PNC Park, looking for this specific card. Well, after several years of exhaustive searching, we finally found the card, in of all places, the last stack of cards we looked though. Great success!

We had the opportunity to see Capps prior to his autograph session. It was good to see him and see that he is enjoying married life. My wife and I were a little caught off guard however, when she went to shake his hand and he went in for the hug. It's been a rather cool experience seeing him go from someone the fans hardly knew to one of the more popular players on the team. Plus, he's just an all around swell guy.

Let's Go Bucs!

photo credits: Me with the 1979 World Series trophy & Freddy Sanchez signing a print exclusive to season ticket holders - my wife. The lineup card from the night of our rehearsal dinner - me.


  1. Cool find on the lineup card. You'd think it'd be long gone by now.

  2. Yeah...I figured the odds of finding it were pretty slim.