Red jerseys debut at PirateFest
Adding some zip to Pittsburgh's black-and-gold motif, the Pirates, on Friday, unveiled a red jersey for the 2007 season.
The red jersey -- which has black lettering with gold trim and black short sleeves -- will be the team's second alternate home uniform and likely will be worn Friday nights.
The white, pinstriped jersey will remain the alternate look Sundays. The Pirates also are keeping their traditional white home and gray road jerseys.
The new look was a hit last night with many of the fans at PirateFest.
"It looks pretty sharp," Pirates season-ticket holder Pat Kirk of Murrysville said. "I'm ready to cheer for the black and gold and red."
It's the first time the Pirates will have an all-red jersey. Red also is splashed down the sides of the new batting practice/spring training tops.
"Red has been a part of our logo, off and on, for decades," said Tim Schuldt, the team's senior vice president for marketing, sales and broadcasting. "When we asked some of our season-ticket holders if they were comfortable with it, they embraced it."
The team's original colors (blue and red) were replaced by black and gold in 1948. From 1997-2001, the Pirates used red trim on their jerseys and a red-billed cap.
Schuldt is hoping the new look is a success on stove shelves, as well.
"We rolled out some red-dominant merchandise, and everyone liked it," Schuldt said. "You could see that in the sales."
Melissa Junker of Stanton Heights, said she might be tempted to buy a red-themed shirt or hat for her 3-year-old son, Tre.
"I like it because it's different," she said. "It's not the same old black and gold."
That caused Junker's husband, Bill, to frown.
"I don't like the red at all," he said. "It's just not Pittsburgh."
Adam LaRoche, the slugger who arrived in a trade last week, modeled the red jersey for a group of several hundred season-ticket holders. A few feet away, the Pirates were selling a few dozen game-used jerseys from recent seasons.
A white, sleeveless Oliver Perez jersey from 2005 was tagged at $150, as was a Salomon Torres warmup from last season. The gray road jersey reliever John Grabow wore last year, complete with patches honoring the All-Star Game and former mayor Bob O'Connor, was $250.
The authentic stuff was snapped up quickly by collectors. Within minutes, only shirts worn by washed-up, former prospects such as Bobby Bradley and Adrian Brown, were left.
Not everyone got caught up in the buying frenzy.
"If they had something from Willie Stargell or Roberto Clemente, it'd be interesting," said Jim Falorio of Fombell, who walked away from the booth empty-handed.
The 17th annual PirateFest continues today and tomorrow at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
There will be two question-and-answer sessions today. Players will field queries from the fans from 2 to 3 p.m. General manager Dave Littlefield, manager Jim Tracy and CEO Kevin McClatchy will go from 4 to 5 p.m.
Tracy and pitching coach Jim Colburn will conduct youth clinics from 2 to 3 p.m. today and 1 to 2 p.m. tomorrow.
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