Fan Follow Friday puts the spotlight weekly on one of my readers, as they share their favorite ballparks and baseball memories. Hope you enjoy hearing their stories!! This week we check in with a Bucs fan, Laura Campbell:
Name: Laura Campbell
Hometown: Perryopolis, PA
Favorite Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
How did you get into baseball?
I started playing tee ball at five years old. Around the same time, I attended my first Pirates’ game at Three Rivers Stadium with my family. I also collected baseball cards as a kid through the late 80s and early 90s. As I got older, I moved on to playing softball and continued to play the game from my early years through the collegiate level. After college, I moved to the DC area for work. I began playing women’s baseball for the Eastern Women’s Baseball Conference. This is the first opportunity I have had at playing organized baseball, and it has been an awesome experience.
I have always loved the Pirates and baseball in general. Recently, my love for baseball has been complimented by a passion for travel and seeing all of Major League Baseball’s parks. My exploration of other ballparks began with visiting Nationals Park and Orioles Park at Camden Yards. So far, I have visited 11 parks and plan on visiting Comerica Park in Detroit later this summer.
Thus far in my ballpark journey, no other stadium has matched PNC Park. Nothing beats the view of the Pittsburgh skyline and cheering on the Buccos with friends and family. The Pirates have always provided a great fan experience, even during the years the team has struggled. Just about every seat in the park has a great view of the game, and most fans are there to cheer on the team, not just for a social activity.
PNC Park has become even better now that the Pirates are winning and playing competitively in the National League Central. It’s nice to expect to see highlight reel plays by Andrew McCutchen and big hits by Neil Walker and Russell Martin when attending games.
Least Favorite Ballpark:
Out of the parks, I have visited, my least favorite is the Rogers Centre. The stadium shows its age and has a very steep upper deck. I also found it to be irritating that fans would get up and take photos mid-inning making it difficult to see the game.
Top Ballpark Memory:
Even though the Pirates will always be my favorite team, my top ballpark memory comes from the Washington Nationals during Game 4 of the 2012 NLDS. Jayson Werth’s walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 9th inning was amazing to see live. I remember the at-bat seemed to take forever, but as soon as the homerun ball was hit the crowd went crazy. Every time it was replayed on the scoreboard, it seemed people cheered louder and louder. For my first MLB playoff experience, this will be a difficult moment to beat.
Advice for Fans Visiting Your Home Ballpark:
– There is plenty of parking near the stadium, but my favorite way to get there is parking at Station Square and taking the Gateway Clipper across the river. It drops you off directly at the ballpark and is a good alternative to sitting in traffic at the end of the game.
– Enjoy the game from any seat in the stadium. The views of the field and skyline are why PNC Park is often chosen as one of the best in baseball by many fans.
– Attend a Saturday night game and enjoy the Zambelli Fireworks afterward. Sit on the third base side for the best view since the fireworks are set off from the river.
– Cheer on your favorite pierogi during the Great Pittsburgh Pierogi Race.
– Enjoy the game and atmosphere at PNC Park. It’s a great time to experience Pirates baseball!
****Would you like to be my next Fan Follow Friday?? Just email your responses to the bold questions and a couple of pictures to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a baseball blogger, just a baseball fan!!!
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