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McCutchen pitches in for scammed softball team

Bucs center fielder pays for uniforms after girls never receive them from company

ST. LOUIS -- Andrew McCutchen comes up with the big hits and the big plays for the Pirates, but the center fielder doesn't have to be between the lines to come through in the clutch.

Pittsburgh's three-time All-Star stepped up after word got out that the 12-year-olds on a Florida girls softball team were scammed by a company that took their hard-earned money and never delivered their promised uniforms.

The Mulberry Lady Panthers had raised over $2,000 for the uniforms and paid in full to Sports 55, based in Maryland, when placing the order in December. According to a Lady Panther spokesperson, most of their order never arrived.

So McCutchen sprang for the entire amount the Lady Panthers needed for both home and road uniforms, complete with jerseys, pants, socks and cleats.

"I was once in that position as a kid who had to find ways financially to be able to play baseball," McCutchen said. "These girls worked hard to raise what they needed, and then it was swept out from under them. Hopefully they can recover their money from that company, but I contacted my rep at Nike, and we decided we were going to take care of their uniforms.

"It's the right thing to do. These girls are supposed to be on a field having fun, not worrying about if they can play or not because they don't have uniforms."

The order was placed with Nike on Tuesday, with McCutchen donating the necessary funds from his equipment deal.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.
Read More: Pittsburgh Pirates, Andrew McCutchen