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Pirates fans rejoice over playoff baseball

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates fans watch the team leave the field after defeating the Reds on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

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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.

Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, 7:57 p.m.
 

Christy Wright on Saturday put a little distance between a childhood memory of watching Sid Bream and the Atlanta Braves dash the Pirates' hopes in the team's last postseason appearance.

On Tuesday, she plans to be inside PNC Park as her hometown team writes a new chapter in its postseason history.

“I never thought I would see the day come, to be honest,” said Wright, 30, of Beechview. “It will take a little while for it to sink in.”

After not playing a single postseason game the past 20 seasons, the Pirates in two days will host a wild-card game against Cincinnati by virtue of beating the Reds, 8-3, on Saturday and guaranteeing they finish at least two games ahead of their division rival.

The winner advances to the National League Division Series.

Brian Shander wants those who attend Tuesday's game to cheer the Pirates to a win so he and others might have a shot at seeing a Pirates playoff game in person.

“If they win, we will come to the division series,” said Shander, 41, of Sharon, Mercer County.

The ninth-inning single by Francisco Cabrera in October 1992 that scored Bream and sent the Braves to the World Series instead of the Pirates still sticks with many Pittsburgh fans.

“You don't forget a name like that,” Shander said.

A win Tuesday, though, could go a long way toward helping, he said.

Matt Clark sat in Section 109 cheering the Pirates all season as a first-time season-ticket holder. He will cheer from seats in Section 108 as long as the playoffs last.

“We deserve a home game,” said Clark, 32, of Munhall. “It's been a long time coming.”

Jason Cato is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jcato@tribweb.com.

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