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Pittsburgh welcomed A.J. Burnett back to the rotation by sending up the Bat-Signal

Pittsburgh welcomes back A.J. Burnett with bat signal

To know A.J. Burnett is to love A.J. Burnett, and to also know that he really, really loves Batman. You can see it in his footwear, you can see it in his dingers, and sometimes you can even see it in his wardrobe choices

So, with Burnett making his return to the Pirates' rotation Thursday against the Brewers after a DL stint, the citizenry of Pittsburgh welcomed him back in the only appropriate way -- a real, actual Bat-Signal: 

Bat signal

Wait, the beauty, it's too much to take in. We need another look: 

Bat signal

You may remember that "The Dark Knight Rises" was filmed in Pittsburgh. Well, as it turns out, Batman-related lighting isn't that easy to dispose of, so the city just left it there -- until a few days ago, when the idea for the Burnett Signal began floating around Twitter among Pirates fans. It eventually made it all the way to the office of Mayor William Peduto, who then coordinated with production company Lightwave International and DC Comics. In a matter of days, the Bat-Signal was born. 

... Or so they claim. What if Burnett's love of Gotham is something ... more? What if we've slipped into a Frank Miller universe, one in which the pitcher is actually a member of the Sons of Batman, sworn to protect the streets of Pittsburgh? What if the Bat-Signal wasn't a fun little welcome gift, but an actual cry for help? Forget about this whole pitching thing for now, A.J., your city needs you.

Read More: Pittsburgh Pirates