Peculiar Pittsburgh

Yes, Phil Coyne could theoretically be added to the Legends of Pittsburgh baseball mural, stakeholders say

If Cooperstown is honoring him, will Pittsburgh follow suit?

A closeup of the "Legends of Pittsburgh" mural by artist Michael Malle.

A closeup of the "Legends of Pittsburgh" mural by artist Michael Malle.

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Aug. 20 Update: The Legends of Pittsburgh mural at 2nd Avenue and Ross Street, Downtown, has been re-installed, according to Jim Vlasach of Lamar Advertising.

It’s nearly June, and the Pirates are hovering just above .500. So there’s that.

It’s rained every day since Easter, so things are normal in that respect, too.

And Pittsburgh’s road system is currently a Kubrickian maze of construction-related road closures, as you would expect.

But there’s one piece missing. Actually, two.

Beneath the Boulevard of the Allies at Ross Street — visible to people driving into town on Second Avenue — the Legends of Pittsburgh baseball mural has been MIA for more than a year. (Where have you gone, Honus Wagner? A city turns its lonely eyes to you.)

The mural depicting 14 baseball notables selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates and painted by Art Institute of Pittsburgh faculty member Michael Malle was first unveiled in 2000, prior to the opening of PNC Park. It was removed for safekeeping and touch ups last year while PennDOT worked on the surrounding roadway.

A closeup of the "Legends of Pittsburgh" mural by artist Michael Malle.

A closeup of the "Legends of Pittsburgh" mural by artist Michael Malle.

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Also missing is Phil Coyne, the legendary Pirates usher who at 99-years-old announced his retirement this season after more than eight decades with the team. Coyne is not in the stands this year for the first time since the Great Depression and since taking a hiatus to fight in World War II.

So naturally we wondered if these two worlds could be merged and if Coyne could be added to the Legends of Pittsburgh mural at some point. So we started asking around.