There are a lot of wonderful things about the Grapefruit League. Watching baseball in February in shorts and a t-shirt while the rest of the country is freezing is certainly high on the list. Watching major leaguers play in a small venue is like watching your favorite band perform in a small club instead of a stadium.
You also get to see your favorite players relaxed and stress free as they seem to be playing just for the love of the game. But also you see players that you may never see again. Who is Thornton? I don’t know. He didn’t make the team, isn’t on the Pirates roster. But we watched him pitch two innings in Bradenton and he certainly looked good doing it. Hope he makes it to the show some day, just because.
No player has done more to help raise the Pittsburgh Pirates from the cellar than #22 Andrew McCutchen. Roberto Clemente wore number 21 and that number has been retired. I remember when Clemente was young and he lived next door to my parents in the Chatham West Garden Apartments in Pittsburgh. Clemente had this beautiful swing, even watching him hit foul balls was fun. Well, maybe not so much for the pitchers. McCutchen is the same. He looks beautiful hitting foul balls or in this case a home run as he did here against the Yankees in February.
When I took this picture I was focusing on the action at second base. Only during post production did I notice the bubble being blown by the center fielder. At first I thought there were two balls in the frame. Imagine if the ball was coming to the outfielder and the bubble exploded in his face as he was making the catch. You can see other images and buy a print of this one on my commercial gallery.
Andrew Stefan McCutchen has helped to provide hope to all fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates who haven’t had a winning season for too long to remember. In my lifetime I have seen the Pirates win three world series and each team was so different. The underdogs of 1960 relied on “Babushka Power” to win and 1970 and 1979 winners seem to be “Family”. But this guy has caused a rebuilding and the current version seems to be more about Parrots,Pirates and Cutthroats me matey so take care. To see more images and buy apparel and prints click here.