Pirates' 95-Year-Old Usher, Phil Coyne, Nearly Stole Show During Wild Card Game
Amid a raucous crowd, towering home runs and dazzling plays, the biggest star of a wild night at PNC Park had to be 95-year-old Pirates usher Phil Coyne.
My wife let me know exactly how she felt when she spotted the cute man taking over the screen during a chance interview with TBS' Craig Sager, screaming at how adorable he was.
Even SportsGrid's Rick Chandler saw fit to compile tweets from fans and media personalities who paused their normally scheduled baseball watching to proclaim Coyne the greatest part of the show.
Thankfully, we have the video to relive the game's most precious moment.
As always, Twitter had some jokes and hat tips:
Somebody get some champagne goggles for Phil Coyne. #Pirates— Ian Casselberry (@iancass) October 2, 2013
True story: Phil Coyne was a Double A second baseman in the Pirates system the last time they won a home playoff game.— Chad Finn (@GlobeChadFinn) October 2, 2013
This interview with Phil Coyne, a 95-year old Pirates usher (since the 30s!), just makes me love them even more.— Cam (@thewalkingipod) October 2, 2013
Back in July, WTAE-TV profiled the man who started working for the Pirates way back in 1936 when he was 18 years old. The network's reporter, Sheldon Ingram, asked Coyne if he ever thought he would see another Pirates winning season, to which the usher remarked with a smile, "Oh, yeah. That's what I'm living for."
The man who worked at Forbes Field, which housed the Pirates from 1909-1970, ushers fans to their premium seats, and he absolutely adores his job. "I love all my people, and they like me," he said to Sager.
The Bucco Zone was lucky enough to get an interview with the remarkable man back in 2011. If he had to pick a favorite all-time player, he would select Willie Mays. But if we are talking Pirates, then he is going Ralph Kiner or Roberto Clemente.
As Chandler notes for SportsGrid, Coyne has seen three Pittsburgh World Series titles already, including one at Forbes Field.
You might as well count four if you consider the team's 1925 triumph coming when he was seven years old. However, Coyne is careful to state he doesn't recall the feat, via The Bucco Zone. "No, I remember starting to watch when the Waner brothers and Pie Traynor played for the Pirates."
Traynor finished off his 17-year career batting .320 way back in 1937. Outfielder Paul Waner joined the club in 1926 and continued in Pittsburgh until 1940. Brother Lloyd became a Pirate in 1927 and stayed with the club until 1941, later returning in 1944.
While Coyne hasn't seen it all, he has certainly seen a great deal more than most fans. He has been through the absolute highs and unfortunate lows that come with being a loyal fan.
Perhaps there is enough Bucco magic to give him another glimpse of World Series wonderment in 2013. No matter your team loyalty, a small part of you has to be rooting for just that as the playoffs continue.
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