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Celebrating Pirates playoff bid hundreds of fans rally downtown (Includes first-hand account)

For the third year in a row the Pittsburgh Pirates have made the National League playoffs by decisively beating the Colorado Rockies 13-7 last Wednesday, and hundreds of Pirate fans, along with Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, were on hand at noon today in the Courthouse Square to celebrate and show support for the team as they host the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday at PNC Park.

“How many times this year did they come back in the eighth or ninth inning when they were behind to win a come from behind game,” Fitzgerald said as he cheered on the already cheering crowd adding, “We’re ready, I’m ready, I know you’re ready, the team’s ready, this region’s ready—we’re going on to the World Series.”

Grant Jackson (left) and Kent Tekulve both pitchers for the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates  who won the 197...

Grant Jackson (left) and Kent Tekulve both pitchers for the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates, who won the 1979 World Series by beating the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 in the seventh game, were on hand to show support for the 2015 Pirates. Steve Pope/Digital Journal

Fans started packing the square close to an hour before the scheduled kickoff of the celebration at noon.

“We left around 9 a.m. this morning and drove [the two] hours from Latrobe to show our support for the Pirates,” said Kirk Lachey, who added he and his girlfriend Gina have attended more than 20 home games this year.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Parrot was on hand at Tuesday s rally to cheer on the crowd supporting the te...

The Pittsburgh Pirates Parrot was on hand at Tuesday’s rally to cheer on the crowd supporting the team heading to the playoffs. Steve Pope/Digital Journal

Tuesday was declared “Pittsburgh Pirates Pride Day and everyone was encouraged to wear some type of Pirates gear to show their support for the team.

Moments before he addressed the crowd, Fitzgerald donned a Pirates jersey and yelled “We’re going on to the World Series.”

Peduto declared Wednesday to be “Buctober Black Out Day” in Pittsburgh, and highly encouraged all fans, even those without tickets or who weren’t planning on attending the game, to go to PNC Park tomorrow night to root for the Pirates as they face the Cubs, who are one game down from the Pirates with a 97-65 record and are 48-33 on the road.

The Pirates and the Cubs have faced off 19 times this season with the Cubs on top 11-8. The winner of Wednesday’s game in Pittsburgh will face the St. Louis Cardinals, which was 100-62 in the regular season.

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