Well, this is one unexpected byproduct of social distancing at ballparks: to prevent proximity to players and coaches, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ pierogies are staging their races outside PNC Park.
Traditionally the racing pierogies–including Cheese Chester, Jalapeño Hannah, Sauerkraut Saul and Oliver Onion–run a race like every other baseball mascot race: inside the ballpark, on the 280-yard warning track. But with social distancing in force at PNC Park, thew Pirates have moved the pierogies race outside the ballpark to the Roberto Clemente Bridge. A small crew–the pierogies, two staffers to hold the finish-line tape, a camera operator and the Pirate Parrot–head outside the ballpark to run the race, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The race had to leave the stadium due to COVID-19 restrictions, according to Brian Warecki, the Pirates’ vice president of communications and broadcasting.
“Due to MLB restrictions with regards to field usage and being in the general proximity of players and staff, we were forced to move the race off of the field,” he said. “With fans returning to the ballpark, we felt it was important to make every effort to still have a live race. Location options were extremely limited, so we decided to try out the Clemente Bridge.”
Yes, we will truly know things are back to normal when the racing pierogies are back competing on the PNC Park warning track.
Photo of racing pierogies back in happier times courtesy Pittsburgh Pirates.