With the prestigious Stanley Cup trophy in tow, several members of the Pittsburgh Penguins, fresh off their dramatic victory over the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, were honored on the field at PNC Park prior to the Bucs' Interleague series finale against the Tigers.
The biggest cheers were reserved for Max Talbot, who scored both goals for Pittsburgh in the Penguins' 2-1 win in the finale, and team captain Sidney Crosby, who was given a standing ovation as he hoisted the Stanley Cup up in the air after being introduced to the crowd.
Among all franchises in the major professional North American sports leagues, the young Penguins squad was the first team since the 1979 Pirates to win Game 7 of a championship round on the road. They were the first NHL team to accomplish the feat since the 1971 Montreal Canadiens.
Winger Bill Guerin, the elder statesman of the Penguins, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Bucs left fielder Nyjer Morgan, a former junior hockey player.
"We're extremely excited for the Penguins," manager John Russell said. "It's a great thing for the city. It just shows what type of atmosphere this city is about and how proud they are of their sports teams."
The Penguins' championship came a little more than four months after the Steelers won their unprecedented sixth Super Bowl title, rekindling talk of the "City of Champions" moniker bestowed upon the Steel City in 1979, following championships by the Bucs and Steelers.
"Pretty soon, hopefully we'll be battling for three championships," said Russell.
The Pirates and Tigers wore throwback uniforms Sunday to celebrate Pittsburgh's first World Series title, a legendary clash between Hall of Famers Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb. That series also went to a seventh game in Detroit, with the Bucs routing the Tigers, 8-0, in the finale.
Ed Eagle is a producer and reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less