Before the Pirates went on the road to hell, they had a lot of really amazing players and personalities. Just like hip-hop, the Pirates were wayyyyy better in the 90’s. Bland cats like Jason Bay, Ian Snell, and Freddy Sanchez can’t match the likes of Andy Van Slyke, Barry Bonds, Bob Walk or Zane Smith. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Some of my best memories as a kid are going to the Bucs games with my mom. We would take the trolley to station square and then ride the ferry across the river to Three Rivers Stadium (RIP) for a night game . While PNC Park is the Angelina Jolie of stadiums, Three Rivers was def the Rosie O’ Donnell. A big bowl of concrete that was suited for Steelers games with an attendance of 55,000, but not so hot for baseball.
While talking with a contributor over cards last night he discussed recent freestyle raps regarding former Pirates players. I had to bust out with the line “riding naked in the truck like ‘Chico’ Lind.” Before he was caught in Kansas City riding drunk with his pants off and high on coke, Chico was a gold glover on the great Pirates teams of the 90’s. His enthusiasm and reckless play made Chico a joy to watch. A game that I still remember over 15 years later is when Jose Lind had a large lead off of third and made like he was going to steal home, taunting the pitcher. My mom went crazy and started pointing at his wild style.
Shortly after their loss to the Braves in game 7 Jose was traded and the Pirates went on their 14 year losing streak, which will soon extend to 15 years. Unfortunately, that began Chico’s downhill spiral which resulted in a year in prison. Last I hear he turned his life around and was coaching in the minor leagues, but according to Wiki he was replaced in that position.