Each Thursday home game at PNC Park will once again be designated a Military Thursday in 2019.
Pirates players, coaches and Bucco Brigade staff will showcase their support by wearing specially designed camouflage uniforms to honor our service men and women, and Pirates Charities selected a different non-profit organization each game that serves veterans and members of our military.
The honoree non-profit is recognized on the field prior to the game, hosted in the Pirates Charities suite and will receive the proceeds of the day's 50/50 raffle to help continue their important work.
2019 honoree organizations include:
- It's About the Warrior
- Life Changing Service Dogs for Veterans
- Heroes Supporting Heroes
- Veterans Leadership Program
- Helping Heroes, Inc.
- Operation Troop Appreciation
- Veterans Breakfast Club
- Honor Flight Pittsburgh
- Operation Homefront, Inc.
- Veterans Place
- Erie United Methodist Alliance, Liberty House
Pirates Charities is pleased to offer 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations serving active duty members of our military and veterans in the greater Pittsburgh region the opportunity to apply to participate in this program. The application period for 2019 is now closed. Please check back after the first of the year for the 2020 Military Thursday application.
FOURTH OF JULY MILITARY APPRECIATION EVENT
Pirates Charities worked with local nonprofit organizations that assist our armed forces to host 125 service members, veterans, and their families for a special event at PNC Park the morning of July 4, 2019. Guests took batting practice on the field, participated in kids' baseball activities, and enjoyed face painting, balloon animals, and airbrush tattoos alongside a brunch in the Miller Lite Skull Bar. After the festivities, attendees continued celebrating our Independence Day by enjoying the Pirates game that afternoon.
MILITARY HOMECOMING SURPRISES
Lance Corporal Kody Stallard surprised his dad - Jim - after Jim won the Chick-fil-A Spot the Cow contest in honor of his 43rd birthday. Lance Corporal Kody Stallard recently returned from his third deployment in the Pacific and wasn't expected home for a few more months. He had been stationed in Okinawa, Japan for 16 months.
Senior Airman Justin Smith surprises his family on the field at PNC Park after returning home from 11 months in South Korea.
NATIONAL CHAIR OF HONOR
On May 18, 2017, the Pirates participated in the National Chair of Honor program to honor and recognize POW/MIA.
This chair will remain perpetually empty at PNC Park to help people remember that even though our soldiers are not here, there is always space for them.
SPRING TRAINING MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY
During Spring Training, the Pirates and Pirates Charities partnered with local organizations to host active-duty military members, veterans, and their guests for a day of appreciation at LECOM Park. All guests received the new Pirates military cap during a pregame barbeque picnic, before enjoying reserved seating at the Pirates vs. Braves game.
Partner organizations included the 927th Air Refueling Wing at MacDill Air Force Base, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), Manasota Operation Troop Support, and Veterans Tickets Foundation. ESGR received a Certificate of Appreciation during the pre-game group salute, while a member of the 927th Air Refueling Wing at MacDill Air Force Base threw the honorary first pitch.