BRADENTON -- In what is becoming a spring tradition, Pirate Fest took place Saturday morning in front of McKechnie Field before the Pittsburgh Pirates' afternoon game against the Houston Astros.
Ninth Street was shut down as music blared, fans munched on hot dogs and autograph seekers waited for players to sign an assortment of memorabilia.
"It's just a good way for us to get players out so (fans) can get autographs," said Trevor Gooby, the Pirates' director of Florida operations. "Not that they can't get autographs at other places, but this for people who have one opportunity to come out here.
"It's a nice free event," he said.
Jason Grilli and Chris Leroux were some of the players who made their way out to Ninth Street, sat at a folding table and signed.
Kids kept active on a pair of bouncy castles on the other end of the street and fans tried to win prizes with a wheel of fortune set up under a yellow Pittsburgh Pirates/Bradenton Marauders tarp.
"People like it," Goobysaid, "and it brings them out."