Spring Training: I can now publish my bottle pictures.

As spring training starts, I realized now that it would be silly not to publish my bottle photos from last summer. After all, now it is safe. The curse has been broken.

Take a look at this:

2013-07-21 11.55.26 And this:2013-07-21 11.55.37My precious Pittsburgh Pirates water bottle. I miss it greatly.

OK, here’s the story.

There’s no sport like baseball. Nothing else can even come close. It’s perfectly elegant, cerebral, conversational, and the most superstitious of them all.

As a Pirates fan, I know a thing or two about superstition and curses. You see, they had losing records starting in 1993 right through 2012. 20 straight seasons.

The 2013 campaign was going swimmingly smooth – downright frightfully exciting, actually. And then the bottle incident occurred.

I was taking some friends on a road trip in Malaysia. We had made it a couple hours out of Penang when we stopped at a rest area. The car wouldn’t start. We called for service and after three excruciating hours waiting for the new dynamo to be replaced, we were finally ready to go. I went to grab my Pirates water bottle out of the back of the car when I remembered that I had put the bottle near the back window. It had been staring at the Malaysian sun through glass for the last three hours. It was a melted mess.

I thought of nothing else other than it must be a bad baseball omen. I was mortified that this could only mean one thing, my team was once again destined for a fall. I took a couple pictures of the bottle and said goodbye, but I knew I couldn’t jinx anything by mentioning it to anyone or by writing about it. I had to hide the sun’s evil deeds, and I hoped that the baseball gods did not have their satellite fixed on Malaysia during that hot July day.

As the team did the city proud by breaking the cursed 20-year losing streak and by making it to the playoffs, I actually had forgotten about the water bottle.

Now I realize that the bottle was not signifying an ending, but a new beginning. The bottle, mangled in the sun, sacrificed itself for the good of the fans, bringing down the 20-year jinx.

I miss my bottle, but I was happy to sacrifice it for the good of Bucco Nation.

This summer I’ll once again get a chance to travel to Pittsburgh and I intend to buy a new replacement bottle.

Finally, the long idle winter months are beginning to thaw as the 9 inch sphere is magically thrown around the diamond.

Welcome back!