Gerrit Cole began his MLB career with the Pittsburgh Pirates as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft. While he may now be with the New York Yankees, Cole still has love for his time with the Pirates.

Cole spent the first five years of his career in Pittsburgh. As he watches from afar, the Cy Young winner is still rooting for the Pirates to succeed, via Stephen J. Nesbitt and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

“I saw how much the Pirates mean to the city and the people of Pittsburgh,” Cole said. “I so badly want them to have that relationship with their team again. It just means so much to those fans. It really does.”

In Cole's time with the Pirates, the right-hander pitched to a 59-42 record with a 3.50 ERA and a 734/203 K/BB ratio. He was named an All-Star in 2015.

Pittsburgh made the playoffs three-straight years from 2013 to 2015. However, they never advanced past the NLDS.

Cole was ultimately traded to the Houston Astros in 2018. He has gone on to earn six All-Star nominations, two ERA titles and a Cy Young during his time with the Astros and Yankees.

The Pirates have yet to return to the postseason since Cole's departure. They've broken 80 wins once since 2015 and still finished fourth in the NL Central. While they improved by 14 wins in 2023, there is still work to do.

Pittsburgh has been hoarding talented prospects in hopes of a successful rebuild. It may still take a few years, but Gerrit Cole will be watching and secretly cheering for the Pirates from New York.