SPORTS

You’re in ‘Steelie Country’

When summer gives way to early fall and warm days yield to cool nights, an annual obsession begins to surface on Lake Erie streams.

On the Green

This is the biography of a golf tournament. Bob Murphy, a Pittsburgh real estate entrepreneur, had every reason to believe his newest venture in the late 1980s would succeed.

The Black Diamond

Before the civil war, what black community existed in Pittsburgh largely included Northern-​born free blacks and runaway slaves, many of whom had traveled the Underground Railroad.

The Wild Side

In his Westmoreland County office, Scott Tomlinson displays a photo of four men with camouflage-​painted faces and a pile of dead deer in their blue pickup truck. As a state wildlife conservation officer, Tomlinson has apprehended dozens of poachers over the years, and the image has come to symbolize the…

Eye on the ball: Centerfielder McCutchen

Tuesday night, Aug. 25, 2009. There are 17,049 paying customers in PNC Park. If they are baseball fans, they are getting their money’s worth.

Along the River’s Edge

Thomas Lippert flicks his cigarette into the ashtray on his wooden kitchen table, its varnish worn away along the edge by years of wrists and elbows. Lippert starts each day here, waking early to supplement his nicotine with a quick breakfast. On the mustard-​colored wall, a prominent image of Jesus…

The Payoff Pitch

Nellie King is lying on a hospital bed, his once-​sinewy muscles flaccid, his face ashen. The man who once hurled sinking fastballs past Frank Robinson and Ernie Banks is so weak from pneumonia that he can barely draw a breath. He has this terrifying sensation of his skin separating from his…

From the catbird seat

In mid-​November, when daylight dwindles, the sky turns flannel gray and a cold drizzle waterboards Pittsburgh, I flap my old, arthritic wings and fly south to Florida — God’s waiting room.

Word Brains

No two games of Scrabble are ever the same. But when the Pittsburgh Scrabble Club convenes on Wednesday nights, there’s a scene that replays itself over and over again. “Someone will show up for the first time and say ‘I’m here because nobody in my family wants to play me.…

The Man Behind the Players

Kevin Colbert grew up the youngest of five boys living in a house on Pittsburgh’s North Side. The house had one bedroom and one shower. The five boys lived in the attic, and they were orphaned by the time Colbert was 15.

Full Circle for the Square

At noontime on a summer’s friday, Mellon Square — the green public space that lashes together so many of Downtown Pittsburgh’s office buildings, hotels, and businesses — is bustling. Ties loosen, heels are exchanged for sneakers and brown bags and sidewalk-​stand hot dogs come out as office workers begin the brisk business of a…

A Mountain from the Hill

The wiper blades arched back and forth against the SUV’s windshield, sweeping away an icy rain. Over the narrow, cobblestone streets and vacant, littered lots of the Hill District, DeJuan Blair drove his grandmother’s Buick Rendezvous.

Queens of the Court

If you think it’s hard to compete with the Pittsburgh Steelers on the field, imagine competing with them for a chunk of the area’s sport-​obsessed, male-​dominated fan base. But two exceptional women, Agnus Berenato of the University of Pittsburgh and Suzie McConnell-​Serio of Duquesne University, are prying some eyes away.…

Magnificence in Montana

When his six boys were young, Jim Dolan and his wife Patty took the family every spring break on a ski trip, each time to a different location. They went to Aspen, Vail, Steamboat, Jackson Hole — you name it. Each year, the boys said, “This is great, let’s come back here…

The Rub of the Green

In the language of golf, there is always a “hidden gem.” The hidden gem is a golf course that is little known or even unknown, that someone has visited and then pronounced a marvel. The course generally has been sitting there, probably for many decades, known but to the locals.
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