Top 20 moments in PNC Park history: 5-1
By Joe Smeltzer
The 20th season of PNC Park should have been celebrated last year, and since the season ended up taking place, I guess, in a way, it did.
20 seasons. Two home playoff wins. This hit won the second one. You can’t say “El Toro” didn’t have his moments.
July 28, 2001
“Six, seven, eight, Giles makes nine! Bucs win! There was nooooooooooo doubt about it!”
It’s one of the top calls of Lanny Frattare’s 33-year run as Pirates’ broadcaster. One of the greatest moments in PNC Park history completed the largest comeback in PNC Park history.
The Bucs were down 8-2 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and nobody on base. It’d be hard to imagine the ’04 Red Sox coming back from that, let alone a team that ended up losing 100 games. But things started to happen.
Kevin Young doubled. Pat Mears homered. Then a trio of singles made it 8-5. Astros’ manager Larry Dierker didn’t want to screw around anymore and sent for Billy Wagner.
“Billy the Kid” hit Jason Kendall to put the winning run at home plate. Houston now had a problem, and that problem was Brian Giles.
Giles rifled Wagner’s 1-0 pitch over the Clemente Wall, making the unthinkable a reality.
Sadly, we’ll never know where it landed, as the camera decided to key in on Giles and not the home run ball.
2. Cutch’s finest hour
July 11, 2015
Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Bill Mazeroski all had October moments of glory. Alas, Andrew McCutchen never did.
In eight postseason games, Cutch never homered, never got a game-winning hit and never made a game-saving defensive play. The closest thing Cutch ever got to a “Mr. October” moment happened on a late-night turned early morning in July.
No. 22 capped off the best game in PNC Park history with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 14th. Sure, it pales in comparison to Maz’s walk-off and Clemente and Stargell’s Game Seven home runs in Baltimore in the grand scheme of Pirates history. For post-1992 Bucco baseball, however, there haven’t been many better nights.
Oct. 1, 2013
Expect anything different? I know lists aren’t as fun when the No. 1 choice is obvious, but how could I pick anything else?
Trying to describe what Oct. 1, 2013 means to Pirates fans to an outsider is like explaining the plot of “The Godfather” to a preschool student. In a night laced with euphoria, Johnny Cueto dropping his baseball was the ultimate high. Unless the Pirates win a World Series or a National League pennant at PNC Park, this will stay No. 1. In short, this might stay No. 1 for a long, long, long time (hehe hehe).
COMON Network content is presented by the US Air Force Reserve. Part-time jobs with full-time benefits are available at the Pittsburgh IAP Air Reserve Station. To find out more visit afreserve.com/pittspodcast