As kids in the early 1950s, my mother, 77, and her best friend hung out at Forbes Field during many losing seasons -- the 1952 Pirates were 42-112 -- collected autographs and had crushes on players like Monty Basgall, a .215 hitting second baseman.
In my mother's Pirates scrapbook is a silver piece of cigarette wrapping paper that Basgall allegedly tossed on the ground somewhere around Forbes Field. Treasured all these years, its dull and crinkled presence carefully taped in the book testifies to love and loyalty despite abysmal statistics.
Tuesday night's beautiful victory against the Reds was for all the lifelong Pirates fans who savored scraps of pleasure during all these losing seasons.
Thank you, 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates, for a fantastic year, and "Let's go, Bucs!"