McCutchen, Chevy team up to support youth initiatives

Pirates outfielder to help bring game's excitement to communities

McCutchen, Chevy team up to support youth initiatives

Andrew McCutchen might have to get used to his new position in right field this spring, but here's one move by the Pirates' five-time All-Star that will require no adjustment whatsoever.

Chevrolet announced on Wednesday that it has enlisted the help of McCutchen and soccer star Alex Morgan to support the brand's youth sports programs around the country. McCutchen will work with Chevrolet on its Youth Baseball initiatives, while the Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion will help the brand grow its Youth Soccer programs.

"I have so many great memories playing little league ball -- from hitting my first home run to just being together with my friends, experiences that taught me to love the game," said McCutchen, who is expected to make his first start in right when the Pirates open their Grapefruit League schedule with split-squad games on Saturday. "I am thankful that I was able to achieve my dream and am excited to support Chevy Youth Baseball so that more of the dedicated and talented youth around the country have the same support and opportunity to make it to the big leagues."

"At Chevrolet, we celebrate the power of play and the positive effect it has on kids, families and communities," said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. "Partnering with Andrew McCutchen and Alex Morgan allows us to share their expertise and passion for their individual sports and demonstrate to children everywhere that, with perseverance and dedication, anything is possible."

Cutch fine with move to right

Chevrolet will once again sponsor the Play Ball initiative, a collaborative effort between MLB, USA Baseball and USA Softball to encourage participation in all forms of baseball and softball activities.

McCutchen was the 2015 recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet, largely for his efforts to help youth. He participated in one of the first major Play Ball events during the '15 World Series, near Citi Field the day after receiving his prestigious honor.

McCutchen wins Clemente Award

"They're doing a good job getting everyone involved and just spreading the game of baseball around," McCutchen said of the Play Ball initiative.

Since 2006, Chevrolet, in partnership with its dealers, has been supporting baseball and softball at the youth level in communities across the country through Chevy Youth Baseball, a grassroots community outreach program.

Participating youth leagues receive equipment, sponsorship checks and fundraising opportunities from Chevrolet, as well as unique MLB and Minor League Baseball experiences such as exclusive instructional clinics. In the past 11 years, Chevy Youth Baseball has donated more than 135,000 equipment kits, renovated 9,400 parks and impacted more than 6.7 million boys and girls across the U.S.

McCutchen and Pirates Charities founded "Cutch's Crew," his signature program, in 2010 to mentor Pittsburgh's inner-city youth baseball players and at-risk children. He also supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, the Homeless Children's Education Fund, the Light of Life Rescue Mission and Habitat for Humanity, among others.

"You're just trying to make a difference," McCutchen said. "Baseball is a great sport and has blessed me a lot. I'm just trying to do my best to give back.

"A lot of people think we're these superheroes, but they forget that we were kids once before, too, with the same dreams. So it's good to be able to interact and let them know that and just talk to them."

Like McCutchen, Morgan said youth sports "helped shape who I am today."

"I know how much work goes into chasing your dream, and I was so lucky to have the support of my family and community," she said. "That is why I am thrilled to be able to support so many young people through Chevy Youth Soccer as they chase their dreams on the field."

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.