How McCutchen summons 'The power of Anthrocon'

July 1st, 2023

This story was excerpted from Justice delos Santos’ Pirates Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

The tweet arrives on the timeline like clockwork. It’s a tweet that sparks incomprehensible joy to a subset of extremely online baseball fans anticipating it every year.


Over roughly the last decade, has tweeted that one, iconic word when a Pirates homestand coincides with Anthrocon, one of the largest furry conventions in the world. And whenever Anthrocon rolls around, McCutchen typically shows out.

“The power of the furries,” McCutchen said. “The power of Anthrocon. Something about it, I guess. … Can't explain it, man. It's awesome. The weekend's not over. Keep it going.”

The term “furry,” in short, makes reference to a community of people with an interest in anthropomorphized animals, or animals with human features. Anthrocon, then, is a gathering place for members of the community to dress as their “fursona” (a combination of the word “furry” and “persona”). When McCutchen tweets “Furries,” he is typically referring to members of the community who dress in a full costume equipped with a mask and bodysuit, though some will elect to only wear a tail or paws.

“Gianna, my youngest [daughter], told me about it today,” said manager Derek Shelton. “We were driving to breakfast. She said, ‘Did you see Cutch’s tweet about the furries?’ I was like, ‘No.’ As we were driving and seeing a bunch of furries, I got a dissertation on furries, which I did not know. I don’t know if my 13-year-old should know.”

Earlier this year, Foolish Baseball, a prominent baseball YouTuber, dove into McCutchen’s history with furries and Anthrocon. In that video, he also dove into McCutchen’s numbers when he plays at PNC Park during Anthrocon. The numbers are striking.

Before Thursday, the first day of this year’s Anthrocon, McCutchen had a career slash line of .419/.479/.742 with three home runs across 73 plate appearances whenever he played at PNC Park with furries in town.

As Foolish Baseball mentions in his video, McCutchen sent his first "Furries" tweet on July 5, 2014, before the Pirates' matinee against the Phillies. In his first at-bat after sending out the tweet, McCutchen homered. When McCutchen hit his famous walk-off home run against the Cardinals in the bottom of the 14th inning on July 11, 2015, one of the most iconic games in PNC Park history, furries were convening for Anthrocon right across the river.

In the two games that have taken place during Anthrocon thus far, McCutchen has continued to pay homage to furries with phenomenal hitting. On Thursday, McCutchen had two hits, one being a double. On Friday, McCutchen fell a triple shy of the cycle and was on second base when Carlos Santana hit his game-winning, two-run home run. Before McCutchen’s home run on Friday, PNC Park’s Jumbotron featured a furry on a boat.

McCutchen is up to .436/.500/.789 with four home runs across 82 plate appearances when Thursday and Friday are included, and the Pirates still have two more games this weekend that coincide with Anthrocon.

“I’ve seen the whole thing,” McCutchen said. “It’s ridiculous. The fact that someone took time out of their day. What’s their name? Foolish? The fact they took time out of their lives to come up with that is unreal. It carries some weight, I guess.”