STAFF

North Shore Nine was founded by Ryan Alexander and Anthony DiNardo in the spring of 2016. Our mission is to provide fans insight and analysis of the daily happenings of the Pittsburgh Pirates. We are driven by our passion for the game of baseball and to counteract the Yinzers lazy thinking that every move the Pirates make is the wrong one.

For any questions or comments, please e-mail us at northshorenine@gmail.com. Now, here’s our award-winning staff…

 

Ryan

I’ve been a Pirates fan for as long as I can remember when my Dad took me to games at Three Rivers Stadium in the late 80’s and early 90’s. My little 10-year-old heart broke for the first time on October 14, 1992 while watching Game 7 of the ’92 NLCS. I recall my Dad kicking his Pirates hat down the hallway when the Pirates brought Stan Belinda in from the bullpen and I remember the heartbreak when…well you know the rest.

I grew up the next 20 years watching this team finish in last place year and year while chasing that elusive .500 record that they never seemed to get close to, and I began wondering if I’d ever experience a playoff game in my lifetime. That all changed on October 1, 2013 when the Pirates defeated the Reds in a one-game wildcard playoff to advance to the NLDS. I was there in attendance on that glorious night to experience the craziest atmosphere I’ve ever seen at any sporting event. Twenty one years of frustration and emotion built up for an intense playoff experience that I know I’ll never witness again.

I’ve been there through it all: From the awful draft picks and salary dumps to the opening of the jewel of the North Shore to the record-breaking number of consecutive losing seasons to finally the recent winning years, I’ve been following this team and that will never change. Nothing appeals to me more than visiting PNC Park to watch the North Shore Nine take the field.

I grew up in Western PA and graduated with a Journalism and Communications degree from IUP in 2005. My career spans a number of different industries, but started in sports with minor league baseball teams, then in higher education and then the casino industry. I am the co-founder and editor of the North Shore Nine and the Founder of FiveWAR.

 

DiNardo

I was born in New Jersey but moved to a town outside of Pittsburgh in the early 90’s. While my family was moving into our new home, I was forced to watch TV on a 7” portable that only received a few stations. Turned out I was able to watch my first dose of baseball those nights, which just so happen to be the ‘92 NLCS. Yes, my introduction to my favorite sports team provided the longest nightmare I ever endured in my life, however through all the turmoil I am here proudly stating I am an avid Pirates fan.

Growing up, basketball was my first love. Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton and the rest of the Seattle Sonics were the shiznit to me. You would have no problem trying to find me either. I was probably at the nearest basketball court mastering all the And1 moves (at least that’s the story I’m going to tell you) or having a 3-on-3 tourney in my driveway while Nas was blasting ‘You Can Hate Me Now.’ Fast forward years later and nothing excites me more than hearing the crack of the catcher’s mitt on the first day Pitchers and Catchers report.

I now reside in Jacksonville, FL, and love almost every aspect of it. The one thing I truly miss is the city of Pittsburgh. I still make sure I find my way to the North Shore at least once a year to catch the Buccos, while also catching them often at Marlins Park and their Spring Training tour across the sunshine state. Over the years I have truly felt that baseball needs an infusion of young fresh faces. The “good ole boys” mentality is really putting a strain on the sport and its relationship with the audience. Much like many facets of life, change is what brings on forward movement, and I really want to help contribute into that.

I intend to provide a fresh look into all things Pirates and challenge Yinzer Nation to their stale, outdated and complete unoriginal viewpoints. Pittsburgh is certainly one of the most passionate cities when it comes to their sports teams. It’s time a couple of fresh faces provide them the truthful insight to what is now the best team in town. Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the North Shore Nine!  Oh, and also catch my MLB podcast named DiNardo’s Dugout.

 

Josh

My name is Josh Ruga and I am from a small town in South Jersey, called Dorothy. I grew up in this town and went to Buena Regional High School before attending Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey where I received my undergrad degree. I graduated from Rowan University in 2012 with a degree in Communication Studies. I played two years of football in high school and two more years of minor league football after college, but even though I am avid baseball enthusiast, I never played for any baseball teams for the schools I attended.

My favorite Pirates memory comes from the 2010 season. Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run walkoff homerun against Rockies closer Huston Street. This happened in extra innings with the Pirates down 7-5 before the swing of the bat. In my mind, it signaled the consecutive losing seasons streak for the Pirates ending. The Pirates would go on to have two more losing seasons following 2010, but behind the efforts of young players like Pedro, they were in the pennant race throughout the summer months of both 2011 and 2012 before finally reaching the playoffs in 2013.

 

Kim

I have been a baseball fan and a Pittsburgh Pirates fan forever.  I remember watching the 1979 World Series and the excitement it brought to the city.  I have to say those years of drought were tough but in 2008, my love for the game was renewed listening to the games on the radio while I was working.  Then I took the plunge in 2013 buying our first season ticket package. When I walk up that rotunda, I can feel the stress release from my body. I’m home!

My favorite memory would have to be the 2013 Wild Card game. I started a conversation with a lady while I was grabbing a beer who happened to be the mother of Cincinnati Reds pitcher, JJ Hoover. She was very kind and said she was very happy for Pittsburgh finally making it back.

I will never forget the chants of Cueto, the electricity in the air when we won and the crowd that night. Simply amazing!

 

Austin B

I am a lifelong Pirates fan who likes to watch and cover the team. My favorite memory of the team is the 2013 NL Wildcard Game. Baseball is my passion and a main focus in my life.

 

 

 Jordan

I’m from Ellwood City and have followed the Pirates my entire life. I went to IUP from ’06 – ’10 and now I am lucky enough to be able to contribute. I have been going to games as long as I can remember and probably make it to 15-20 per year. I’ll never forget when they finally broke through and I got to share the 2013 Wild Card game with my dad. I can’t imagine a game being more emotional and impactful than that one. Well, that is until we get over the hump and I get to watch our Bucs win the World Series.

 

Austin P

I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business from Grove City College. I grew up in Cranberry, Pennsylvania where I attended a  private high school. During my time there, I played baseball, golf and soccer. Nowadays, I enjoy fishing and learning as much as I can about the game of baseball. Studying the game is a hobby that I have and I love diving into all the new Statcast data when I have free time.

Besides the NL Wild Card games, my favorite Pirates memory took place on July 11th, 2015. In the bottom of the 14th inning Andrew McCutchen hit a walk-off home run against the division rival Cardinals. The whole game was a roller-coaster from start to finish, but it showed the persistence of the Pirates. Their ability to battle and keep themselves in games during that 2015 season was truly something special and it was a joy to watch them play.