You can’t escape politics anywhere now — not even in America’s once great pastime, baseball.

A “pastime,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “something that amuses and serves to make time pass agreeably.”

Boy, did the Pittsburgh Pirates accomplish that for me most of my early life.

Pirates radio broadcasts on KDKA were background music throughout Western Pennsylvania when I grew up in the ’70s, and baseball was weaved happily and deeply into the fabric of our young lives.

In the summer I heard the voice of Pirates play-by-play man Bob Prince echoing from half a dozen porch radios in my neighborhood.

I loved hearing my dad and Uncle Mike talk about the Pirates’ improbable World Series victory over the Yankees in 1960.

I remember the warm, sunny autumn of 1971, when I spent hours listening to a small transistor radio as the Pirates won the World Series again.

Though the Pirates have been underwhelming in recent decades, my high school friends — all of us sharing a happy connection to baseball — have made it a point each year to enjoy a reunion or two at PNC Park.

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