Jason Rollison tells us of how his wife started to become a Pittsburgh Pirates fan.
My favorite piece of Pirates memorabilia is of the non-traditional sort. My lovely wife, Jessica, was never what you would consider a baseball fan until a rainy night in June of 2014. I had convinced her to go to a Pirates vs Cubs game with me. Cheap seats, but hey she agreed to go and we were there. Then in the seventh inning, the skies opened and a torrential downpour appeared, scattering fair-weather fans (literally) from PNC Park at a blistering pace. My wife and I took advantage and moved to the very first row of bleachers hugging the foul pole in left field.
Right in view of Starling Marte.
The crowd having thinned out as much as it did, you could really hear everything going on in the field. As the Pirates warmed up before the Cubs came to bat, many folks were clamoring to get a ball from Marte. After another unsuccessful attempt, I turned to my wife, who is half-Colombian and speaks excellent, fluent Spanish, and said “Next inning say something to Marte in Spanish and I guarantee you he’ll throw you a ball.”
And that’s exactly what happened. It may have taken him three attempts to actually get my wife to catch the ball, but Marte gave my wife a ball, a smile, a nod, and said something to her in Spanish. She still has not told me what he said and I’ve learned not to ask. Months later at Piratefest, a kind soul who had access got Marte to sign the ball even though we missed the boat on tickets to his autograph session. Ever since that game, my wife has slowly become a card-carrying Pirate fan.
So while it may not be worth anything or have a wow factor attached to it like other pieces, this ball will always hold a special place as the catalyst for my wife’s baseball fandom.
Next: A Hall of Fame signature