This Week in Pittsburgh History: Before Tossing Out First Pitch, Michael Keaton Unloads on Pirates’ Ownership

The Academy Award winning actor's criticisms 16 years ago are still being heard today.

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Batman’s first pitch at the April 10, 2006 opener at PNC Park was nothing remarkable, but what actor Michael Keaton said prior to taking the mound still reverberates with fans today.

At the time, the Pirates were coming off 13 consecutive losing seasons and Keaton criticized then-owner Kevin McClatchy for not spending enough money to field a competitive team.

“I fear they will take advantage of the goodwill of the people who continue to show up,” Keaton told a group of reporters. “For my money, that’s disrespectful. At some point, you either have to write the check or do something and not assume, well, we’re OK.”

Keaton said he understood the economic reasoning behind overspending in baseball … but only to a point. “Look, I’d do it, too, if I were a businessman,” Keaton said. “But, at some point, you’ve got to win. I think fans have been gracious. And maybe not vocal enough. Maybe not vociferous enough with their displeasure. That’s my opinion.”

Learn more about the city’s past at The Odd, Mysterious & Fascinating History of Pittsburgh Facebook page.

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