BRADENTON -- It was shortly after high noon when spring training officially arrived at Pirate City under a clear blue sky.
About 60 Pittsburgh Pirate players walked from the clubhouse to the ballfields on the east side of the ballclub’s sprawling facility, black bat bags slung over their shoulders, their spikes clicking and clacking on the concrete walkway.
It was mostly pitchers and catchers on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, plus non-roster invitees trying to make the big club.
The Pirates play their first game Feb. 25 at McKechnie Field in the annual benefit game against the State College of Florida.
Their Grapefruit League home opener is Feb. 27 against Tampa Bay.