In her latest BUCN 412, Kim Kanoza was rubbing elbows with some Pirates at Photofest….
Sunday fun day—time to go to the ballpark. My birthday gift to myself was to choose as my Season Ticket Member perk to take part in the Members Only Photofest on the field prior to the game on Sunday July 2 against the Giants.
My husband and I arrived at PNC Park around 10:30 AM and line up at the homeplate gates. The sun was shining and warm already, it was going to be a hot one at the ballpark today. This was the first year we participated in the photofest so we were not sure what to expect or how it was organized. At 11 AM, the gates were opened and we were allowed in, tickets scanned, wristbands checked and we were directed to the field in two lines. The warning track was roped off from the rest of the field and everyone chose a place to stand along the ropes. Just before 11:30, players (a majority of which were the pitching staff) walked out and began shaking hands, having conversations and taking photos with fans. Autographs were not allowed.
It was very exciting for me to meet so many players and coaching staff. Each player or coach that came by was happy to take a photo, shake your hand and converse about the game. I am sometimes hesitant to meet the players and I don’t want to be disappointed by them, as if they are being forced to parade out like animals at a zoo. No disappointment on my end, they were all fantastic and interacted with the fans as if they were excited as we all were.
As I had mentioned previously I really root for Gerrit Cole to do well as one of my favorites and meeting him was thrilling. Chad Kuhl was tremendous, he took the time to talk for several minutes about the previous days performance, which although the Pirates lost he had a strong game with a no-hitter through five innings. We met so many of the players and coaches, Cole, Daniel Hudson, Kuhl, Wade LeBlanc, Jhan Marinez, Juan Nicasio, Ivan Nova, Jameson Taillon, Tony Watson and Josh Bell, to name a few.
The photofest ended around 12:30 PM and we decided to have lunch at the Rivertowne Hall of Fame Club located below the scoreboard at PNC Park. The husband chose the Oven Roast Turkey BLT and I went with the Turkey “gyro” burger. Both the food and service were on point. Now that our appetites were satisfied, and leaving the restaurant the sun was brutal, and I do not do well in the sun. We stopped by the concession stand for a smart water and found our seats. The game was not what I had hoped for, I like many thought this would be an easy three-game pick up, however as usual with all Pittsburgh teams, in my opinion, we played down to the competition and lost all three. The Bucs won on the Fourth of July in dynamic style with Cutch and Taillon dominating the game. Hoping they can win out to the break and come back with a strong second half. Until then—keep on BUC’N!