PNC Park, Pittsburgh

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An aerial view of PNC park, the Allegheny River and downtown Pittsburgh. The other two rivers, the Monogahela and the Ohio, are not in the shot.  Heinz Field, where the Steelers play, is right nearby.

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The ticket window below is just to the right of the big PNC Park sign.

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01-PNC 3 The yellow bridge behind center field is the Roberto Clemente bridge. There’s a vertical yellow Duquesne Beer ad in the left field foul pole.

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01-PNC 5 The out-of-town scoreboard features a little diamond icon next to the score indicating outs and runners as well as the score. It’s the most complete out-of-town scoreboard I’ve seen.

01-PNC 6It was the Sunday before 9/11.  I had been in New Orleans for the NAB convention and for the return trip I found a US Airways flight that had a four-hour layover in Pittsburgh. I grabbed a cab at the airport to take me downtown to PNC Park where the Pirates were hosting the Reds in an afternoon game on a very hot day – hot and sticky even compared to New Orleans.  It was another nice new ballpark.  I like to go for local fare when possible, so I had a Steel City beer. Okay, I had two.

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My ticket was $35 – not bad for a box seat in the 12th row between home and first. Later I moved down to the 2nd row. Why not? It wasn’t a sellout and nobody seemed to mind.

Ken Griffey Sr. (1st base coach) and Jr. (cf) were both in uniform for Cincinnati. Also in the game were future Red Sox players Todd Walker, Sean Casey, Dustin Hermansen and Adam Hyzdu. Aaron Boone, who hit the 11th inning homer off Tim Wakefield in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS and sent the Yankees to the World Series (which they lost), played 3rd for Cincinnati.

The Reds beat the Pirates, 5-3.  As of this game I had seen every Major League team.

Grabbing a cab back to the airport after the game was nowhere near as easy.  Unlike at most ballparks there were no cabs at all lined up, and I had to phone for one. I had no idea of the name of a local cab company, so I took a guess on Yellow Cab and hit paydirt. The cab took a long time to show up and I almost missed my flight home.

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