Pittsburgh kid earns Wild Card tickets for good grades

PITTSBURGH -- When Nazair McRae brings home good grades from Langley Elementary School, if his proud father ever tells him, "That's the ticket, son!" he would have been right on Tuesday.

Pirates club president Frank Coonelly presented Nazair with tickets to Wednesday night's National League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser at PNC Park during a surprise morning visit to his school.

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Date Result
Oct. 7 CHC 4, PIT 0

Sitting across from Principal Rodney Necciai's desk, Nazair was trying to figure out why he had been roped into any school kid's nightmare -- being called to the principal's office -- when Coonelly, trailed by the Pirate Parrot, walked in brandishing the tickets.

"Because you're such an outstanding student," Coonelly said, while shaking Naizir's hand, "you've been selected by Major League Baseball and the Pirates to receive two tickets to tomorrow night's Wild Card Game. What do you think about that?"

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"It's awesome," Naizir said.

"Well, we think you are awesome," replied Coonelly, who also presented him with sweatshirts to wear to the PNC Park Blackout and goody bags for everyone in his classroom.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.