Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fan's letters good reference for McKechnie job

Jim Cunningham (yellow shirt) at Pirates job fair. Tiffany Tompkins/Bradenton Herald
Pittsburgh Pirates officials were looking for a few good baseball fans Wednesday at their job fair.
Not just the kind who will buy tickets to their spring training games at McKechnie Field, mind you.
But ones who will bring their longtime love of the game to working the concession stands while they're cooking hot dogs and pouring beer to other baseball fans lined up outside.
People such as Jim Cunningham.
As a Boy Scout growing up in the New York area, he'd write letters to players on the Yankees and other ballclubs.
He got letters back, too.
"They don't do that today," Cunningham said.
This was back in the 1960s, a time of innocence for kids like him.
He received letters back from players like Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Joe Pepitone to name a few.
The one from the Mick is framed and hanging on a wall in Cunningham's crib.
He also sent players their baseball cards to sign and got many of those back, too.
"My friends used to put their baseball cards in their bike spokes," he said. "I sent them off for autographs."
If Cunningham gets a concession job, he's OK with the idea he'll be at McKechnie, but not be able to see his favorite game.
"Just the excitement of hearing it, that'll be cool," he said

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