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The Way I See It: Thank you, Bucs, for making us believe again

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The sport as American as apple pie had gone stale in our little corner of this great country.

Slowly, over the course of 21 years, we had lost our taste for baseball.

I recall the glory days. I remember as a child watching Roberto and Willie — that's Clemente and Stargell for you youngsters — with my dad, who would yell with glee at every swing of the bat and every homer.

My husband remembers the majesty of taking in a game at Forbes Field, and would often share the tales of that great ballpark with me and our daughter. (He never gave up. In fact, Cracker Jack is a must-have in my home on any given game night.)

Ah, those were the days — days we had convinced ourselves we'd never see again.

But then, something magical happened.

Clint Hurdle got cooking. He mixed things up. He brought in some new players, tweaked the recipe — raising eyebrows of those who said it couldn't be done.

With hometown hero Neil Walker, Starling “Partay” Marte, “El Toro” and our shining star “Cutch” in tow, the Pirates manager took to the field and brought with him a new attitude, a new zest for the game — and he sprinkled it all over the Golden Triangle.

We watched over the course of a shining summer our love of baseball get fresh again. We watched with joy as balls launched like canonfire dropped into the river, bringing smiles to fans in boats just wanting to be near the game.

We revived the lyrics to the silly tune “‘Byrd' is the Word.” We gave a whole new meaning to “grilled cheese time” in honor of our ace closer as we began — as a city — to circle around this Buccos team that was showing us they still cared.

And just like that, we all cared again. Indeed, we showed them, we ARE family.

What a great summer for baseball in Pittsburgh — and all over this nation.

Anywhere the Bucs played, it was evident in the fans who showed up donning the black and gold, and waving the Jolly Roger — road-worn but ready to root our boys on.

Thank you, Clint, Andrew, Pedro and company. You've made us proud.

And you know what, I think we returned the favor. You've got our attention! We'll be back in the stands next season.

For now, let's go, Pens. Oh, and Steelers — that's one... keep it up or we'll need to have a word with you.

Mya L. Koch is editor of the Sewickley Herald. Reach her at 412-324-1403 or

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