PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WKBN) – Much like the Guardians opening up things on the road, the Pirates did just the same finally over a week into the season, getting their home opener on Friday.

A special one for Pittsburgh and the fan base over a decade in the making. Back in 2010, Andrew McCutchen made his first opening day appearance with the Pirates and now in 2023, he’s back in Pittsburgh with the Bucs donning the black and gold on Opening Day.

“Man, I will tell you, it was great just walking and then going past the visiting clubhouse. I was just like, thank God I do not have to go in that clubhouse anymore,” McCutchen said. “This one is different for me just because, you know, I’ve been away for a little bit and I’m back. I think there’s some optimism about the team and, you know, I think people are just excited that I’m back, too. So you can definitely feel it, definitely can feel the excitement.”

“You add a guy like McCutchen who means so much to this city and he also, you know, polices the young outfield position player corps,” said Pirates pitcher Chase De Jong. “You got a guy like Santana that walks in and his résumé speaks for itself and that guy walks in the room, and I have the utmost respect for what he’s accomplished in the game — he steps in here and immediately has a voice.”

“I’m bringing everything,” said former Indian and current Pirates DH Carlos Santana. “My energy, my spirit, everything, everything positive I’m bringing and hope to the younger guy and my team. You know, and try to have fun.”