Kovacevic: Russell Martin, civic treasure

Everybody knew it. And don't lie: You did, too.

So did Justin Wilson, even though he was seated way out in the Pirates' bullpen, more than 420 feet away from Russell Martin in the batter's box facing the Brewers' Jonathan Broxton.

But don't take Wilson's word for it, because you wouldn't believe him.

"J-Willie nailed it, I'm telling you," Tony Watson would recall later. "He said, 'Russ is taking this one out. Next pitch. Oppo.' He even called where."

How about in the dugout?

"It's what you're thinking," Jeff Banister said. "It's Russ. How can it not be what you're thinking?"

How about in the crowd of 37,974, squeezed into every standing-room inch at PNC Park and, in that moment, standing even if they had seats?

They knew.

To continue reading, log into your account: