Within a week of returning to Pittsburgh I attended a Pirates game at PNC Park. It was my first time back to the park since September 29, 2019, which was the last day of the Pirates’ 2019 season and therefore also the last time fans were in the stadium until the pandemic attendance restrictions were relaxed this past spring.
Following the Pirates has become a significant part of my experience as a Pittsburgher, and both PNC Park itself and the various views of the city it affords represent some of my favorite places around. So christening my return to the city with a bus ride downtown, a walk across the Clemente bridge, and panoramic views from the upper bowl provided a sense of familiarity and stability in the midst of an otherwise tumultuous time.
While my trip to PNC did cap off my first week back in Pittsburgh, it was not my first trip back to a ballpark. That was actually two weeks earlier when I attended a Nashville Sounds game (pictured above). In both cases it was still strange to be around large crowds, particularly in light of the relaxed social distancing and mask guidelines to which we’ve become accustomed. It also still feels like a temporary reprieve rather than a full-blown reassertion of the status quo, but while attendance is back to full capacity I remain excited to finally watch October Pirates baseball in person at the end of the season.