Sunday, June 22, 2014

PNC Park Tour

We booked the 12 pm guided tour of PNC Park for only $10/each the day before our game. From our hotel, we took the subway to the North Side station. The best part of this subway ride is that it was only 10-15 minutes and FREE! That's right. Free. It cost us $0. Best transportation to a stadium to date.

As we waited for our tour to begin, guess who exited the stadium, having just finished the morning tour? Cat Osterman. We spotted her over 6 ft tall frame from a mile away. Naturally, like total creepers, we followed her into the gift shop. Then around the gift shop until we got the balls to ask her for a photo. Notice how we fit into her nook:
After perfecting our celebrity stalking skills, we had to run back to the stadium entrance for our tour. It began at the bronze statue of Ralph Kiner's hands: 
From Ralph's hands, we headed to Legacy Square, which is a portion of the park dedicated to the historical significance of the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Greys, two of the local ball clubs from baseball's negro leagues. 
PS - that's our tour guide. He was epic. And adorable. 
Satchel Paige:
Josh Gibson:
The Pirates' batting cages were pretty bad ass. For starters, the pitching machine can be set to emulate the starting pitcher of the opposing team so that players can prep for the game to come. Secondly, the first batter to arrive at the cages gets to pick the music. Soooooo, if Andrew McCutchen loves getting down to 98 Degrees and he gets into the cages nice and early before the rest of his teammates, they're all stuck being "True to Their Heart." Aesthetically, the green turf inside the batting cage is from Forbes Field, the stadium that originally played home to the Pirates and Steelers. 

Since the tour took place too close to game time, we were unable to visit the Pirates' clubhouse, therefore our next stop was the field. This is the view from the Pirates' dugout: 
We always seem to take more attractive photos in other teams' dugouts.

The media room had the best view of the ballpark and the city skyline. 
In fact, when we chatted with Cat, she mentioned that the media room was one of her favorite stops on the tour because of the view.

If you're into playing pool, you can check out Keystone Corner. It's located near sections 227 and 228. It's one of those rare clubs at a ballpark that's open to everyone. 

Roberto Clemente's autograph hanging in the club:
We left the park excited to see a game the following day. The setting seemed intimate, like every seat in the house would offer a good view of the field. The tour guide gave us a lot of suggestions for places to eat, which is our favorite part about visiting other ballparks. 

Stay tuned for our post regarding our experience watching an actual game at PNC...and sadness.

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