This is the 16th season since Sid Bream slid past Spanky LaVailliere's tag and crush the Pirates' dreams of the 1992 National League pennant.
If you were born that night you'd almost have your driver's license now.
And if you factor in that your don't really follow baseball closely day to day until your turn 6 or 7, think about this:
You can be a 23 year old Pittsburgh Pirates fan and have NEVER seen your team play .500 ball!
Now as I wrote last year... there is no excuse for the 15 year slide. None. Not payroll, not market, not ownership.
If the Expos could have winning seasons in 2002 and 2003 even though they didn't even have an owner, then the Pirates could have snuck in an 82-80 season along the way.
So I have a question for you Pirates fans out there...
How do you do it?
And let me say I've always liked the Pirates. My first World Series memories was watching Pops Stargell beating up the Orioles to the tune of Sister Sledge.
But that was a long time ago.
When I was a kid, the Red Sox went on a stretch where they didn't contend...
But they had exciting players like Lynn, Fisk, Rice and Evans. They had links to the past like Yaz and hope for the future like Boggs, Gedman and Clemens.
And eventually they won the 1986 AL Pennant.
What fond memories do young Pirate fans have?
Forget We Are Fam-A-Lee... I'm sure young Pirate fans don't even remember Bonilla, Bonds, Van Slyke and Drabek!
Forget Dave the Cobra Parker and John Candelaria.
The memories of pre hooker Denny Neagle are faint.
And be honest... do you grind your teeth knowing Marlins fans have won 2 World Series since Bream scored?
So seriously... Pirates fans 22 and younger... what are your memories?
Who were your favorite players? What makes you a die hard Bucs fan?
Clearly I know you have great Steeler memories of the Super Bowl and the Penguins have a real shot at the cup... and even if they don't, you can build memories of Sidney Crosby.
But which Pirate poster did you have growing up?
Which games were your fondest baseball memories?
What I am saying is, if you are a Pirate fan who only knows the post Barry Bonds years... then you are as good and as loyal a fan as possible.
I admire fans like Erik Hoeke, who wrote the terrific 10 Positive Things About Being a Pittsburgh Pirates Fan
Or devoted fans like Sara Legarsky, who loyally breaks the team down.
There are devoted folks at the ironically named Mighty Pirates, and the bitter guys at Raise the Jolly Roger, and Cliff at Pirates Home Plate, and Pat at my favorite Pirate blog name Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke.
So write in... tell me your favorite memories of the post Bonds era... and tell me those of you who don't shiver at the name Francisco Cabrera why you love your team.
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