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Pirate fans prepare for Wild Card game with rally

Pirate fans pack Market Square on Sept. 30, 2014 for a playoff rally. Photo: Haley Wisniewski | Point Park News Service
Pirate fans pack Market Square on Sept. 30, 2014 for a playoff rally. Photo: Haley Wisniewski | Point Park News Service

By Haley Wisniewski, Point Park News Service:

No matter where she is or where she goes, Vivian Carnprobst always makes sure to have a radio nearby so she can tune in to the Pirates game.

When Chris Miller and Jeff Walters walk the streets of Pittsburgh in head-to-toe pirate costumes, “outcasts” would be the last word to describe them.

Former Pirate Bob Friend signs his autograph for a fan after the rally in Market Square on Sept. 30, 2014. Photo: Haley Wisniewski | Point Park News Service
Former Pirate Bob Friend signs his autograph for a fan after the rally in Market Square on Sept. 30, 2014. Photo: Haley Wisniewski | Point Park News Service

These are just three among the hundreds of Pirate fans who packed Market Square on Tuesday to show their support for their team who has once again made it to the playoffs this year.

As the Pirates’ former anthem “We Are Family” played, fans danced around swinging towels while children took pictures with the Pirate Parrot and their favorite racing pierogi. When the speakers went on stage, the roaring crowd only grew louder. Pirates President Frank Coonelly raised his fist and yelled out the confidence he has for the team to win the Wildcard game and go all the way. The fans replied with cheers.

“We are just humbled by the support we receive. We have the best fans, and this year, we set an all time record of attendance,” Coonelly said.

Pirates catcher Chris Stewart took the stage yesterday along with Pirates alumni Bob Friend, Dave Giusti, Manny Sanguillen, Grant Jackson and Steve Blass.

From the players to the fans, Pittsburgh showed their full support for their team at the rally.

Carnprobst, 88, expresses her love for the Pirates through her dedication.

“I don’t miss a game,” she said.

On her porch, in the kitchen and in her bedroom are just a few of the places she keeps a radio at her house to listen to the games. She even had one with her at the rally. Over the past 50 years, she said she missed maybe 40 games total.

“I took my radio to a funeral once. I went to the bathroom and, for about five minutes, listened to the game,” said Carnprobst.

“Captain” Chris Miller and “First Mate” Jeff Walters are greatly committed to the Pirates as well. Every inch of their outfits depicted a pirate: eye patches, hooped earrings, skull rings, hats, grown out facial hair, a golden tooth and, of course, a Jolly Roger in hand.

“We call ourselves the ‘Renegades of the Rotunda’,” said Miller, mentioning they dress like this for all of the Pirates games.

The rally only displayed one afternoon’s worth of how much this city loves their Pirates and the belief they have for them to make it far in the playoffs.

“We’re not just a punchline anymore,” said Miller.

Pirate fans pack Market Square on Sept. 30, 2014, for a playoff rally. Photo: Haley Wisniewski | Point Park News Service
Vivian Carnprobst (right) is among Pirate fans at Market Square on Sept. 30, 2014, for a playoff rally. Photo: Haley Wisniewski | Point Park News Service
Former Pirates catcher Manny Sanguillen attended the Market Square rally on Sept. 30, 2014. Photo: Haley Wisniewski | Point Park News Service
Former Pirates catcher Manny Sanguillen attended the Market Square rally on Sept. 30, 2014. Photo: Haley Wisniewski | Point Park News Service
"First Mate" Jeff Walters and "Captain" Chris Miller give their best pirate snarls at the playoff rally held in Market Square on Sept. 30, 2014. Photo: Haley Wisniewski | Point Park News Service
“First Mate” Jeff Walters and “Captain” Chris Miller give their best pirate snarls at the playoff rally held in Market Square on Sept. 30, 2014. Photo: Haley Wisniewski | Point Park News Service
Former Pirates catcher Manny Sanguillen greets fans a the pep rally on Sept. 30, 2014 in Market Square.  Photo: Haley Wisniewski | Point Park News Service
Former Pirates catcher Manny Sanguillen greets fans a the pep rally on Sept. 30, 2014 in Market Square.
Photo: Haley Wisniewski | Point Park News Service

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