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Kevin McClatchy threw out the first pitch in Pittsburgh yesterday? Huh.

Oct 7, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT

Kevin McClatchy

Everything I’ve read about former Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy suggests that he is, to the extent we can know such things about the rich and powerful, a perfectly pleasant man who cares a lot about Pittsburgh and the Pirates. He’s also a good example for gay people who struggle with their decisions about coming out of the closet. Seems, from afar, like a pretty admirable guy.

But does anyone else besides me think it’s weird that he was asked to throw out the first pitch at the Cards-Pirates game at PNC Park yesterday?

He owned the team from 1996 through 2007, which is a period in Pirates history that makes the actual Dark Ages look like the height of Enlightenment-era Vienna. Those were some bad years for Pirates fans, and McClatchy was on watch then. They were also years in which McClatchy worked hard to get taxpayers to pay for PNC Park, amid threats, however veiled and unlikely they were, that the Pirates could leave Pittsburgh if the public didn’t pony up. Indeed, about 95% of what makes the 2013 Pirates season so wonderful are memories of just how horrifying 1996-through-2007 and a couple of years on either side were.

Yes, I realize a first pitch doesn’t make a lot of difference in the world. But would the Rays ask Vince Naimoli to throw out the first pitch? Would the Dodgers ask Frank McCourt to do the honors? Not saying McClatchy is a bad a guy like those two, but you’d think you’d want to do whatever you can to minimize negative associations.

Can someone call Bill Madlock or Kent Tukulve before today’s game?

  1. NatsLady - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I don’t know if “anyone else” besides you thinks it was weird. Did you try asking any Pirates fans, citing any local writers, y’know, stuff besides your own opinion?

    • gdobs227 - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      This Pirate fan thought it was a weird choice. He did keep the team in Pittsburgh and did get PNC built, but if they were going to bring back someone from “the dark ages,” a beloved former player such as Jack Wilson would have been a better choice.

      • NatsLady - Oct 7, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        Thanks. I hope more Pirates fans weigh in, because this is strange to an outsider.

      • florida76 - Oct 7, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        I would agree about bringing back a popular player from the past, and the Pirates have a wealth of outstanding players to choose from in that regard.

        However, if you followed the mid-1990s situation closely when the team was up for sale, it was significant that someone stepped forward to keep the team where it belonged. The building of PNC Park not only assured the future of the Pirates in Pittsburgh, but is part of the new era as well.

      • danaking - Oct 7, 2013 at 8:42 PM

        Agree. I can name fifty people I’d get for the gig before McClatchey.

  2. peopletrains - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    “Tukulve”…? Really?

    • chew1985 - Oct 7, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      Yeah–you read that right. They could call up good old “Tuk” or maybe Steve Glass.

      • theageofquarrel - Oct 7, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        I think you mean Steve Blass

      • nderdog - Oct 7, 2013 at 2:41 PM

        Yeah, but then he wouldn’t be mocking the misspelling of Tekulve…

  3. giantboy99 - Oct 7, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    How about the Cobra?

    • deepstblu - Oct 7, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      You mean Dave Barker?

  4. smcgaels1997 - Oct 7, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Before he purchased the team..they were as good as gone. Terrible teams under his ownership.. But without him they’d have no team

  5. fastwillie39 - Oct 7, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Worst article I’ve ever seen on here. Do your research, he saved baseball in the city and still lives within an hour outside Pittsburgh. He wasn’t hated, if anything, he was respected for doing a job really no one wanted. Did you watch the game even? He got a huge ovation. The current ownership were minority owners with McClatchy and this was a hat tip to him for his hard work to lay the ground work (Cutch and Neil walker were draft picks under McClatchey). Also, what does it matter he is gay, and also do your research on how to spell Teke’s name and if you did your research, you would know Teke is at nearly every game doing the post game.

  6. babyfarkmcgeezax - Oct 7, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Craig was too busy searching around for his popcorn to have any time to actually research for this hack piece.

  7. grumpyoleman - Oct 7, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    They couldn’t pick anybody else because a bunch of babies on here would have blamed the braves for being low class even though they weren’t involved

  8. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Oct 7, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    I find it refreshing that this, so far, successful season for the Pirates has encouraged all 5 of their fans post comments on this one topic. I figured it was inevitable that some of the previously arrogant and outspoken Steelers fans, unable to say anything about their beloved football team, would jump on the bandwagon. And here you are, all 5 of you together. Good for you. In three years when half your team is in LA, Boston, or New York, we look forward to the renewal of silence from the Three Rivers community.

    • rtjr2013 - Oct 8, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      Is this the ONLY article/blog that ALL Pirates fans have to read? It must be, in your opinion since you seem to think the Pirates have only 5 fans and that they all commented here.

  9. fastwillie39 - Oct 8, 2013 at 5:44 AM

    Here is the beauty of it all, none of you own the team, including me, so its the current ownership’s decision. Not really a big deal, people, but you should know the facts.
    Also, go ahead and name the 50 people who should throw the first pitch, that should be an entertaining list.

  10. rtjr2013 - Oct 8, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    I think Derek “Operation Shutdown” Bell should have been asked……

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