With baseball season now in full swing, this Saturday, May 9, Pirates and Pirates Charities will take the opportunity to celebrate their involvement with local Miracle League organizations as the team will take part in two unique grand opening ceremonies around the greater Pittsburgh Area.
Pirates Charities, the team's philanthropic arm, will assist with grand opening ceremonies of a new Miracle League field in Indiana County, as well as an inclusive play environment in the South Hills.
In Indiana County, during a morning event, Pirates Charities is partnering with the Indiana County YMCA for the grand opening of the new Pirates Charities Miracle League Field of Indiana County. The field is the sixth Miracle League field Pirates Charities has had the honor of assisting in the construction.
Pirates and Pirates Charities Chairman Bob Nutting, along with broadcasters Greg Brown and John Wehner will participate in the festivities that are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the new field, located at the YMCA of Indiana County. Following the opening ceremonies, Miracle League players and their "buddies" will participate in a one-inning grand opening exhibition game.
"Since 2009, Pirates Charities has made a concerted effort to be a catalyst for the growth of the Miracle League programs throughout our region, as well as in our spring training home of Bradenton, Florida," Nutting said. "These projects are near and dear to our hearts as we believe every child and adult should have the opportunity to experience the game we love so much with their family, friends and peers regardless of what challenges they may face."
Pirates Charities partnered with the Indiana County YMCA to build the county's first Miracle League Baseball field, constructed specifically for children and adults with special needs. The new field, located on the grounds of the YMCA of Indiana County, is now the home to the Miracle League of Indiana County (MLOIC). The MLOIC is a charitable organization that provides for children with mental and/or physical disabilities the opportunity to experience playing baseball in a league-based environment.
The specially designed field will allow children with special needs the ability to realize their dream of playing baseball, many of them for the very first time. As important, these children will now have the opportunity to develop relationships with their peers and coaches while playing on their very own field.
In addition to the Indiana County event, the Miracle League of the South Hills will host a grand opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m. for "The Clubhouse," a new inclusive playground, which is adjacent to the Pirates Charities Miracle League of the South Hills Field in Upper St. Clair's Boyce Park.
Pirates and Pirates Charities President Frank Coonelly will be on hand to participate in the grand opening ceremonies that will be followed by the Opening Day of the spring Miracle League season. The day's festivities will include many fun family activities such as a Pierogy Race, coloring table and more.
The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field of the South Hills is part of a larger complex dedicated to providing special needs children with a place they can play baseball regardless of their challenges. The complex features a custom-designed rubberized surface that is completely wheelchair accessible in order to allow children of all abilities to take the field.
There are currently 250 Miracle League organizations across the country, including Puerto Rico, Canada and Australia. The Miracle League is proud to serve over 200,000 children and young adults with disabilities.
About Pirates Charities
Pirates Charities, the philanthropic arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is a 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on three core areas of youth health, fitness and education. Each year, Pirates Charities and the Pirates partner with more than 3,000 organizations and programs committed to improving the lives of children and adults. Pirates Charities has created successful signature programs including Pirates Fields for Kids, Wins for Kids, Pitch for Hope as well as others supporting cancer research and families and youth in our community. To learn more about Pirates positive impact in the community, visit www.pirates.com/community.
About The Miracle League
The Miracle League concept was developed in Conyers, GA, in 2000 and it was decided that each player would bat once each for 2 innings. All batters will be safe and score a run before the inning is over, therefore each team and each player always wins. Integral to the Miracle League concept is the "Buddy System" where Buddies assist all Miracle League players. These Buddies are mainstream children who play baseball or are members of youth church groups, boys and girls scouts, and other volunteer groups or simply individuals of any age who want to get involved. For more information about MLOIC, visit www.mloic.org.