The Pirates recent trip to San Diego was one to forget. Following their 19 inning win against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, the Pirates were hoping to to use that momentum in the series against the lowly Padres. Unfortunately for them however, they were swept by San Diego.
Not all of the trip is worth forgetting for all of the Pirates though. As they annually do, members of the Pirates made a trip to the U.S. Naval base while in San Diego.
This year for the Pirates, Chris Resop was able to join the Navy on their base.
“I had a good time,” Resop said. “I hadn’t ridden the boats yet so we got to shoot for a half hour or so and then take those jet-powered boats back to the hotel so it was kind of cool.”
Resop, who attended the base in 2010, said aside from hanging out with the Seals, he was looking forward to the jet-powered boats the most.
“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before. I’ve never been on those kind of boats or anything like that,” Resop said. “We got to hang out with those guys for the day and obviously they are special people.”
Resop is no stranger to shooting guns as he is an avid outdoors man, but he said that he could feel the pressure of shooting with a Navy Seal watching you.
“I had a decent shot, but I’m an outdoors man,” Resop said. “It wasn’t my first time, but it’s definitely cool and a great experience to sit with a Navy Seal on your side that has an impeccable shot (laughs) you know what I mean? They’re sitting there kind of grading you and judging you the entire time, but it’s a good thing.”
Joel Hanrahan, who was unable to go this year because he had to “spend some quality time with the wife,” has gone in the past few years and said it’s an awesome experience.
“It was awesome. They let us into their lives a little bit and let us see what they go through on a daily basis a little bit to get ready and make their sacrifices for us,” Hanrahan said. “The experience of seeing the guys training, working and just hearing some of the stories of what goes on in their daily life is pretty neat to get that insight. The sacrifices that they make are unbelievable.”
While The Hammer was unable to attend this year, perhaps nothing will top last year. Just 24 hours prior to the Pirates visiting the base, a group of Navy Seals infiltrated Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Bin Laden, who was the head of al-Qaeda and responsible for the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers, was killed by the Navy Seals team known as the Team Seal Six. Hanrahan said being there the day after they killed Bin Laden was a moment he will never forget.
“That was a lot of fun. Those guys were riding pretty high at that time,” Hanrahan said. “The excitement that they had and the excitement that we had to go in there and basically watch them celebrate. It’s like them winning the World Series. It’s one of the biggest accomplishments that they’ve had and to be there that day is a special feeling.”
As big leaguers, guys like Resop and Hanrahan are guys that most people would love to meet, let alone hang out with. But to hang out with a group of elite Navy Seals that help protect our country is pretty exciting for these guys.
“I think they enjoy it. As excited as they are to meet us, we’re just as excited to meet them,” Resop said. “It’s not everyday you get to hang out with those guys one, and be on their terms on their field. It was pretty cool and something that not a lot of people that can say that can go on their base and hang out with them.”
After leaving the base, Resop said he left the Seals a little gift to show his gratitude.
“A bunch of them ended up coming to the game so I left them all tickets,” Resop said. “It was a good trade off.”
Photo Credits: Root Sports Pittsburgh/Dan Potash