Often when a veteran player returns to the team that gave them their start, many see it as the beginning of the end. The sun is setting on their career, and one last hurrah with the home team will encapsulate their legacy once and for all. 


Pittsburgh Pirates centerfield Andrew McCutchen is not one of those people, and the last thing he wants is your sympathy. 


“I want to win. Specifically, I want to win here,” said a motivated McCutchen during his introductory press conference that saw the centerfielder welcomed back to Pittsburgh with open arms. No longer the blazing quick, dreadlocked perennial MVP candidate, Andrew comes back as a veteran whose on field production may have slipped but his clubhouse presence has remained bigger than ever. 

Cutch Returns, So Does the Winning

So far, the Pirates are 9-7 in the NL Central and winning at a higher rate than they have in quite some time. So, Cutch’s presence on the field is being felt.

McCutchen has played for five different teams since being traded in 2017 and was without question considered a leader on each of them. Now back in black, there is a new task at hand; show the young bros how it’s done.


McCutchen has done just that out the gate, hitting .298 with three doubles, two home runs and a .916 OPS in 61 plate appearances. 



McCutchen and Ke’Bryan Hayes Have Chemistry 




Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes didn’t hide his excitement about bringing Cutch back into the fold. “To be able to bring somebody like that, who won an MVP and Silver Slugger Awards, He was the leader of the Pirates from the time when I signed here, just to bring a guy like that back into the clubhouse is awesome… I didn’t get to see him when I was coming up and picking his brain about how to win because he was able to win while he was here.”  


It seems as if the two MLBbros are already in sync, as McCutchen echoed that sentiment when asked about mentoring both Hayes and 2022 first-rounder Termarr Johnson, another young MLBbro who will be a prominent figure in any winning that takes place in Pittsburgh.





“I’m looking forward to being able to not only talk to them but to be a voice for the way things work, the way we did things when I was here,” said McCutchen when asked about his role in mentoring the two young Pirates. “Not necessarily saying, ‘This is the right way.’ Things change, and you evolve. But I want them to understanding (that) winning here wasn’t that long ago, and I was a part of it. So I know what it feels like.” 


McCutchen Took Pirates From MLB’s Saigon To Playoff Sexy


In 2013, a young Cutch was a catalyst for a young Pirates team that ended the franchises 20-year streak of consecutive losing seasons. The then 26-year-old hit .314 with 21 home runs, 84 RBI, 27 stolen bases while scoring 97 runs and posting an OPS of .952. This was good enough for Andrew to become the first Pittsburgh Pirate to win National League MVP since The God Barry Bonds won back-to-back awards in 91-92.


From 2011 to 2015, McCutchen was on another level, hitting .302 with 123 home runs, 175 doubles and a .905 OPS enroute to five consecutive All Star appearances along with four Silver Slugger Awards. During that period, he carried the franchise on his back and was at the peak of his illustrious career. Now, he returns as a hero of a golden era in Pirates’ history, with a goal to mentor the next generation while showing them how to grind and work as a professional over 162 games.




If Andrew is able to aide this young group of talent Black players back to a competitive playoff level, his legacy in Pittsburgh will grow even more.

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