Monroeville pet store helps give Pirates' bullpen its bite
By Kyle Lawson
Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
When the Pirates are winning, anything is possible.
Last month, the owners of Elmer's Aquarium & Pet Center got a call from Pirates pitcher Jason Grilli. He was shopping for two pet sharks that could live in the team's clubhouse.
“It kind of caught us by surprise,” co-owner Karen Kanabe said, “especially since it was initiated by a player.”
Earlier this season, Grilli nicknamed the Pirates' bullpen the Shark Tank. It was based on the their ability to smell the blood of an opponent and finish them off, Pirates spokesman Jim Trdinich said.
In May, Grilli took the gimmick one step farther with a visit to Elmer's.
As requested, co-owner Gary Kanabe had two sharks waiting for him.
“We sell one or two a month,” Gary Kanabe said. “It is something that (the client) has to prep for.”
The sharks are about 2 feet long and eat frozen fish. They're native to the Indo-Pacific, where they live in shallow tidal pools, the shop owners said.
Co-owner Gary Kanabe is a lifelong Pirates fan and season-ticket holder. He said he loaned the 150-gallon tank to the team for the season at no cost.
In exchange, staff members get to visit the clubhouse on a weekly basis to clean the tank.
“We were down there feeding the sharks, and the players seemed to like that,” Gary Kanabe said.
The tank is decorated with a pirate ship and sword-wielding skeleton pirates. Last week, the staff was discussing other species of black and gold fish they could add to the tank, Gary Kanabe said.
Trdinich said it's the first animal he ever has seen “inhabit the clubhouse” since he was hired by the Pirates in 1989.
“It is definitely a great environment, but that comes with winning,” Trdinich said.
He said Grilli is a fun presence in the locker room.
“He keeps it loose in there,” Trdinich said.
Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Voters to decide on library tax in Monroeville
- Monroeville officials not thrilled with hotel-tax suggestion
- Internal review board clears Monroeville officer in shooting; DA investigation ongoing
- With low salt, Monroeville conserves usage
- Pitcairn considers options for Fire Company No. 1