It is the play that is painfully burned into the minds of Pirates fans everywhere. Sid Bream slides ahead of young superstar Barry Bonds' throw to send the Atlanta Braves to the World Series thanks to an improbable ninth inning comeback. The date was Oct. 14, 1992.
It is now 2012 and the Pittsburgh Pirates are in the midst of 20 consecutive losing seasons, a North American professional sports record. Only once since that devastating loss in Atlanta have the Pirates finished higher than third place, and that was in 1997 with a team whose collective payroll was a measly $9 million.
The Steel City faithful have had to sit and watch as poor play on the field and inept decision-making in the front office have led to the tarnishing of what was once a proud and successful franchise.
Yet as the glory days of summer draw closer on this young season, there is a sense of optimism among those who continue to follow the Pirates. Here are 10 signs that the Bucs are getting close to finally ending their consecutive losing seasons streak.