Pittsburgh Pirates fans didn't need any extra motivation for the wild card game on Tuesday, which they won 6-2 over the Cincinnati Reds. After all, they have been anticipating and craving it for 21 years. But they got some extra hype anyway when gospel singer Petrina McCutchen, mother of Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, returned to PNC Park for her second performance of the national anthem in the past two months.
Unfortunately, the viewing audience was not treated to her performance live, or any of the pre-game introductions for that matter. The TBS television broadcast instead opted to air commercials and further analysis that apparently wasn't covered in the first 58 minutes of their pre-game show. But that doesn't take away from the moment that was experienced by those in the ballpark.
A moment that the 40,487 fans made even better through their own participation.
The whole stadium just joined the singer, Andrew McCutchen's mom, Petrina, for the last quarter of the national anthem. That was cool.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 1, 2013
If her performance doesn't give you goosebumps, nothing will.
In another cool moment, the McCutchens shared a big hug behind home plate before Andrew and his teammates returned to their dugout for final preparations. Honestly, it was difficult to tell which McCutchen was prouder of the other, but it was obvious there was no place that either of them wanted to be more than PNC Park in October.
Tuesday night proved to be a night the Pittsburgh Pirates could do no wrong, and the standard of excellence was set right away when they invited Petrina McCutchen to sing again. It added a whole new layer of electricity to the ballpark, and it probably made the city feel like the "We Are Family" days were back and better than ever in Pittsburgh.