No more scurvy scowls: The Pirate crew has something to smile about

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Avast, me hearties. As if our timbers were not shivered enough by the recent heavy weather, now comes the salty news that the scowling face of Pittsburgh’s favorite buccaneer — the one on the ball club’s logo — is being replaced. Has political correctness come to this?

Too rough and ready for polite company, is he? Doesn’t look supportive and kindly enough for the kiddies? Rest easy, crew. It’s not as if there is no room in modern hearts for nautical cutthroats. It’s not like the old buccaneer is being replaced by the image of a bow-tied dandy in a top hat.

No, it’s more a matter of marketing correctness. Professional sports teams are always tweaking their uniforms, the better to sell more apparel. It’s not shocking the Pirates announced Wednesday that the gold letter “P” on the Pirates ballcap will henceforth serve as its main logo.

After all, the old Pirate face will still appear on the team’s uniforms for now and there’s no suggestion that the Jolly Roger won’t be raised over PNC Park ever again.

In other words, the Pirates are not turning a blind eye (with suitable eye-patch) to their long buccaneer tradition, although this is the first time since 1936 that a cartoon pirate will not be used as the team’s primary logo.

But perhaps there’s a better reason for this than adjusting the Pirate ship to the prevailing winds of marketing taste. Why is the old Pirate still scowling? His brave lads just had a winning season and made the playoffs. Everyone should be smiling.


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