Sunday, June 5 – Angels 5, Pirates 4
After two rain delays in Cincinnati the previous afternoon, I wasn’t optimistic as the rain followed me east. Through the morning the rain continued, heavy at times. But my weather app said the rain would top at noon—and it did. The grounds crew quickly rolled the tarp, prepped the field, and the game began right on time. By late game, the sun was shining brightly
Access: I drove in from the west, hopped off the freeway within sight of PNC Park, circled past Heinz Field, and pulled into a parking lot across the street from the first base/right field side of the park.
Seats/pricing: This was by far my closest seat of the trip – second row behind the visiting team dugout on the first base side. I didn’t splurge; the ticket and parking pass were a much appreciated birthday gift from work colleagues.
View: The view behind center field, past the Roberto Clemente Bridge, over the Allegheny River and into downtown Pittsburgh is spectacular.
Food: Several people recommended the Primanti Bros. “Pittsburgher” cheese steak. It was terrific. It was so huge that I ate half of it at the game and the other half on the drive home. You could also get charcoal-grilled burgers on the right field deck.
Beer: Beer was reasonably priced (for a ballpark). $11 for a 24-ounce can, $8.25 for a 16-ounce can (or $9 for a premium brand). Draft was $9. Great Lakes Brewing and Sam Adams offered craft brews for $9.
Crowd: 27,754. The pre-game rain put a premium on ponchos and umbrellas, and send many early arrivers into the restaurants. Sunday day games are typically heavy to families, and this crowd was perhaps even more so as the Pirates honored Girl Scouts with a pre-game parade around the field.
Men’s Rooms: Clean.
Neighborhood: Some of the neighborhood, in the form of drinking and eating establishments, is outside the park gates but within the park structure. There are others in the immediate neighborhood, and downtown Pittsburgh is just a short walk away across the Clemente Bridge.
Arts and visuals: A statute of Roberto Clemente stands at the north entrance to his bridge. On the west side of the park is a statue of Bill Mazeroski memorializing his walkoff homer that won the 1960 World Series. The added touch to this tableau is a section of the outfield wall from old Forbes Field over which the homer flew. Honus Wagner and Willie Stargell also are honored with statuary.
Baseball Moment: Albert Puhols’ two-run, come-from-behind, game-winning homer in the top of the 8th negated a serviceable pitching job by Pirate ace Garrett Cole, who’d held the Angels to three runs through 6 2/3 innings. The climax, however, came in the last of the 9th when the Pirates loaded the bases with one out. But Sean Rodriguez grounded into a double play.