This was a good season for local baseball fans

It’s amazing how many Americans allow the success of our sports teams to determine our happiness levels.

But… that’s the way it goes when you’re a sports fan – you live and die with your favorite team.

Many local fans were fortunate this year to be able to cheer on their baseball teams – the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds -into the post-season. And, while the Indians and Reds gave their fans only one additional game to live for, the Pirates after a 21-year playoff drought, battled valiantly to the fifth game of the NLDS before bowing out.

Although none of our baseball teams will be playing in November, we still have memories of the many victories to warm us through the long winter months.

The Pirates’ playoff run brought record crowds into PNC Park and put that beautiful stadium and the city on the national stage in a positive light.

And, more important, it completed the restoration of pride and dignity to the game of baseball in Pittsburgh. The Bucs weren’t a team that tripped and fell into the playoffs and then were swept offstage rapidly. They proved they belonged there. It is a team that exceeded expectations, surprised the pundits and made the national commentators sit up and take notice.

After we all get over being sad for the loss, baseball fans should take heart in knowing that we have a lot to look forward to next spring.