Can’t-Miss Pirates Games for 7 Types of Fans

Can’t-Miss Pirates Games for 7 Types of Fans

Photo by Dave DiCello


The thrill of competition. The privilege of seeing world-class, award-winning players in action. The timeless, pastoral tranquility of an afternoon or evening at the ballyard.

For some fans, these things are meaningless.

Sure, there are many purists and dyed-in-the-wool baseball fans around the city of Pittsburgh; we’re loud, we’re proud and we’re actually paying attention to the game. But for those who need an added incentive to make the trip down to PNC Park, the Pirates have always made it a priority to sweeten the deal.

This week, we’ll help seven sub-categories of Bucco fans mark their calendars for the 2014 season. There will be bobbleheads. There will be ’90s rock. And there will be pups.

For Dog Lovers

Does your family’s love of Pirate baseball cross species lines? The ever-popular Pup Nights return for 2014. Twenty eight bucks gets you one human ticket and one canine ticket; additional homo sapiens are $28 each. You will need to provide proof of vaccination on arrival; friendly pooches only, please. This year’s designated dog days are April 22, May 6, May 20, June 17, July 1, July 22, Aug. 5, Aug. 19 and Aug. 26. More info here.


For Multitaskers

Summer’s tough, man. Should we go to a concert? Should we go to a ballgame? Nah, let’s knock both out in one night. This year brings three “FanJam” postgame performances, from ’90s alt-rockers The Goo Goo Dolls (June 7), country hitmaker Gavin DeGraw (Aug. 30) and none other than Lynyrd Skynyrd (Sept. 13) — the ultra-rare opportunity to yell for “Free Bird” in an appropriate situation.


For Fireworks Fans

Sure, there are plenty of fireworks displays to be had around the city, from April through . . . well, the next April. But finding a perfect vantage point for a citywide pyrotechnic celebration can be a challenge; why not enjoy a world-class Zambelli Fireworks display from the comfort of your seat, right after the final pitch? Post-game fireworks will explode April 5, April 19, May 10, June 26, July 19, Aug. 9 and Sept. 20.


For Faithful Pirates Faithful

The June 26 contest — in addition to offering Zambelli Fireworks — has been designated 2014’s Faith Night, wherein a special post game session will feature Pirates players and coaches; the event’s scheduled to include Clint Hurdle, Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker and others discussing matters of faith with fans. Discounted tickets are available for the game, too; more info here.


For Kids

Grown-ups can get some nice giveaways at the ballpark on certain dates (note the Pirates Fedora on May 3), but we just can’t keep up with the kids. Every Sunday home game is a Kids Day, wherein younger Pirate fans can run the bases on the field after the contest’s conclusion, weather permitting. Each also has a sweet prize for younger fans, from sock monkeys (April 20) to posters (June 8, June 29, July 6, July 20) to ice cream bowls (Aug. 10) to batting practice jerseys (May 4, Aug. 31) and beyond.


For the Thrifty

We all want to rep the Pirates, but not everyone can drop the major coin required to rock an authentic McCutchen jersey. If you’d like to expand your Pirates wardrobe without opening your wallet, every Friday home game is once again a “Free Shirt Friday.” They’re all pretty great, but we’re partial to the Jason Grilli “Cheese” logo tee offered April 18.


For Collectors

Perhaps the main event on any promotional calendar, the lure of bobbleheads almost always guarantees a sellout. This year’s pair is wrapped around two big off-season awards: Pedro Alvarez gets a Silver Slugger Bobblehead May 24, and Andrew McCutchen continues his quest to dethrone Jason Bay as the Pirates’ most-bobbled head with an MVP edition June 28.

Categories: After Dark