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Cold weather greets Bucs, fans on Opening Day

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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.

Monday, April 1, 2013, 10:03 a.m.
 

Perhaps this is exactly what the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates need:

Wind chills. Grey skies spitting drizzle and the occasional snowflake. Fans wrapped in blankets, mittens and tukes.

Hardly the scene one imagines for baseball's Opening Day. But who knows? Maybe the cold weather is a sign of good things to come.

After all over the past three years — which all ended with losing records — the Pirates played their first home game of the year under sunny and warm conditions.

- In 2010, when Garrett Jones hit two home runs in an 11-5 romp over the Los Angeles Dodgers, it was downright balmy: Sunny with highs in the upper 70s.

- In 2011, temperatures hit the mid-60s, softening the sting of a 7-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

- And last year, it was sunny and 57 degrees on Opening Day, a pitchers' duel that saw the Philadelphia Phillies prevail 1-0.

This year? Temperatures will barely climb into the low 40s. The sun is not expected to make an appearance.

And that's great news — at least, it is if you're a Pirates fan desperate to put a positive spin on an otherwise gloomy start to a new season. What the Pirates need, after 20 straight years of losing, is something different.

For Opening Day is a day of hope. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle likened it to Christmas morning: “You're getting, all wrapped up in a bow, and trying to figure out what's inside.”

Many fans around here are jaded, and rightly so. The only present they expect is an old, re-gifted puzzle. Missing a couple pieces, of course.

But thousands of others descending on PNC Park today in an annual ritual are hoping for something new, something different ... maybe even something sparkling, like a piece of jewelry that slides onto your finger.

After all, it's Opening Day. Nobody has a losing record. Everyone's hopes are intact. Twenty years of losing mean nothing because that was then, and this is now. No mater the weather or history, on this day, anything is possible.

Follow the Trib today as our team of reporters bring you the sites and scenes from Opening Day on the North Shore.

James Knox | Tribune-Review - A group tailgating from Greene County keeps warm over their grill during Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013,in a parking lot around PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox   |  Tribune-Review</em></div>A group tailgating from Greene County keeps warm over their grill during Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013,in a parking lot around PNC Park.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Pirates flags whip in the wind as fans arrive for Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, above the parking lots of the North Shore.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates flags whip in the wind as fans arrive for Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, above the parking lots of the North Shore.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - PNC Park worker Rian Hindman, 24, of Emsworth wheels a kiosk out of the gates at PNC Park as bundled up fans wait in the cold to get in for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>PNC Park worker Rian Hindman, 24, of Emsworth wheels a kiosk out of the gates at PNC Park as bundled up fans wait in the cold to get in for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - A fan portrait of Jake Bowder, 24, of Beaver Falls, during the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>A fan portrait of Jake Bowder, 24, of Beaver Falls, during the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - PNC Bank CEO James Rohr throws out the first pitch during the Pirates' Opening Day festivities on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>PNC Bank CEO James Rohr throws out the first pitch during the Pirates' Opening Day festivities on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Snowflakes fall around a statue of Honus Wagner as fans arrive for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park. Fans were met with cold weather, precipitation and a lot of traffic as they arrived for the game.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Snowflakes fall around a statue of Honus Wagner as fans arrive for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park. Fans were met with cold weather, precipitation and a lot of traffic as they arrived for the game.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Tailgating goes on despite snow in the lots around Heinz Field for opening day for the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday April 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>Tailgating goes on despite snow in the lots around Heinz Field for opening day for the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday April 1, 2013.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Tre Tedford, 3, of South Fayette walks in a sea of fans toward PNC Park for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013. This is Tedford's third time attending a Pirates home opener, not missing one since he was born, his father said.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Tre Tedford, 3, of South Fayette walks in a sea of fans toward PNC Park for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013. This is Tedford's third time attending a Pirates home opener, not missing one since he was born, his father said.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Tailgating goes on despite snow in the lots around Heinz Field for opening day for the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday April 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>Tailgating goes on despite snow in the lots around Heinz Field for opening day for the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday April 1, 2013.
James Knox | Tribune-Review - Brian 'Hoss' Cartwright from Natrona Heights chats with his friends as they wait for the pakring lots to open around PNC Park for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Brian 'Hoss' Cartwright from Natrona Heights chats with his friends as they wait for the pakring lots  to open around PNC Park for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013.
James Knox | Tribune-Review - Cars line up as they wait for the parking lots to open around PNC Park for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox   |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Cars line up as they wait for the parking lots to open around PNC Park for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013.
James Knox | Tribune-Review - The streets around PNC Park are filled with vehicles for Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox   |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The streets around PNC Park are filled with vehicles for Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Anthony Panza, 28, of North Hills tosses a frisbee as he tailgates with friends on Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, in the parking lots outside of PNC Park,
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Anthony Panza, 28, of North Hills tosses a frisbee as he tailgates with friends on Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, in the parking lots outside of PNC Park,
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Alan Wagner (right), 39, of New Stanton tosses a bean bag as he plays cornhole with his fellow Hecla Sportsmen's Club member Joe Gonzales (left), 51, of Lower Burrell during Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, in the parking lots outside of PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Alan Wagner (right), 39, of New Stanton tosses a bean bag as he plays cornhole with his fellow Hecla Sportsmen's Club member Joe Gonzales (left), 51, of Lower Burrell during Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, in the parking lots outside of PNC Park.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Christy Christy (left), 21, of North Hills, huddles under an umbrella with Marina Panaia, 21, of Monroeville as they brave the snow and sleet during Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, outside of PNC Park. Fans were met with cold weather, precipitation and a lot of traffic as they arrived for the game.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Christy Christy (left), 21, of North Hills, huddles under an umbrella with Marina Panaia, 21, of Monroeville as they brave the snow and sleet during Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, outside of PNC Park. Fans were met with cold weather, precipitation and a lot of traffic as they arrived for the game.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - A statue of Roberto Clemente towers above a sea of fans arriving outside of PNC Park for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>A statue of Roberto Clemente towers above a sea of fans arriving outside of PNC Park for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - PNC Park grounds crew member Angelo Cencia lines the field before the Pirates' home opener against the Cubs Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>PNC Park grounds crew member Angelo Cencia lines the field before the Pirates' home opener against the Cubs Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Pirates fans cheer as Andrew McCutchen is introduced during Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates fans cheer as Andrew McCutchen is introduced during Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Ty Kegarise, 27, of Brookline, rolls up his Pirates flag as he stands in line to go inside PNC Park for Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Ty Kegarise, 27, of Brookline, rolls up his Pirates flag as he stands in line to go inside PNC Park for Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen holds his 2012 Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards during a ceremony before the home opener against the Cubs on Monday , April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen holds his 2012 Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards during a ceremony before the home opener against the Cubs on Monday , April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Men are reflected in a puddle under a statue of Roberto Clemente during the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, outside of PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Men are reflected in a puddle under a statue of Roberto Clemente during the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, outside of PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Pirates fans cheer on the team as they wave flags in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Cubs on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates fans cheer on the team as they wave flags in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Cubs on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Pirate Parrot cheers on the team during Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Pirate Parrot cheers on the team during Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Fans arrive for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park. Fans were met with cold weather, precipitation and a lot of traffic as they arrived for the game.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Fans arrive for the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park. Fans were met with cold weather, precipitation and a lot of traffic as they arrived for the game.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Young Pirates fans enjoy ice cream on Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Young Pirates fans enjoy ice cream on Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates players bow their heads in a moment of silence to remeber the Sandy Hook tragedy during a ceremony before the home opener against the Cubs Monday , April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates players bow their heads in a moment of silence to remeber the Sandy Hook tragedy during a ceremony before the home opener against the Cubs Monday , April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - The 'Countess', part of the Gateway Clipper fleet, brings a people across the Allegheny River to the North Shore on Monday, April 1, 2013, in front of PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The 'Countess', part of the Gateway Clipper fleet, brings a people across the Allegheny River to the North Shore on Monday, April 1, 2013, in front of PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates manager Clint Hurdle steps from the dugout during pre-game introductions before the home opener against the Cubs Monday , April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates manager Clint Hurdle steps from the dugout during pre-game introductions before the home opener against the Cubs Monday , April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
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