Though first and foremost, I am a Phillies Phan, I do like to travel and experience other ballparks, even if the Phillies are not involved. In fact, my husband and I have an ongoing quest to eventually visit all 30 major league parks. After beginning in earnest in 1996, we have reached the two-thirds mark, just 10 more to go. The first few came rather quickly, but then things like kids threw a monkey-wrench into the plans. Oh well, at least I have a goal!
As part of our quest, we made a cross-state drive in April 2006 to visit the new home of the Pirates, PNC Park. It almost pains me to say this, but I must admit that PNC Park is pretty darn nice. Factoring in the view of the surrounding city and its convenient location, I almost have to give it a slight edge over Citizen’s Bank Park. Here is a photo I took during an extremely pleasant day game:
Note the sunny skies. I have it on good authority from my husband, who spent many childhood weekends and holidays visiting relatives in the Pittsburgh area, that this is highly unusual. I guess the fates were smiling on us after that long drive. They were not, however, smiling on the Pirates, who lost this game to the Dodgers 13-5.
While exploring the stadium prior to the game, we came across this statue of Ralph Kiner’s Hands:
So many questions arise in my mind, just begging for answers. Such as, where is the rest of his body? Why just the hands? Did they run out of bronze? Is Ralph so unattractive they thought people would be repulsed? The plaque on the base does not shed much light on the matter. It simply states that this is a “Bronze Casting of Ralph Kiner’s Hands.” It goes on to recap Ralph’s career in Pittsburgh and his election to the Hall of Fame, but that’s it. I shall have to do some investigating. If anyone reading this has information, please let me know.
Until tomorrow, think Spring (Training, that is)!