PIRATES BASEBALL SUMMER CAMPS
2018 marks the inaugural year for the new Pirates Baseball Summer Camps. At Pirates Baseball Camps, we share one ultimate goal - which is that every drill, swing, throw, and eye-popping young fan experience is designed to unlock your child's personal best. Whether it's a drill to work on their throwing technique or the excitement of a ballpark visit, we pack every day with experiences to bring kids closer to who they will someday become - and to the team they love. By equipping young ballplayers with the tools to help them find and be their personal best right now, our mission is to prepare them to take on the world, both on and off the diamond.
Camp Highlights Include:
- Four days of baseball instruction and competition in our custom-built curriculum
- Full Pirates Camp Uniform including hat, jersey, pants, socks & belt
- Day-long visit to PNC Park
- Meet & Greet with a current or alumni Pirates player
- Autographed photo by a current or alumni Pirates player
PLAY BALL EVENT AT PNC PARK
The Pirates invited kids of all ages to come down to take part in PLAY BALL on Sunday, May 20, 2018.
The Pirates annual PLAY BALL event took place on-field at PNC Park for youth ages 5-14, offering instruction and entertainment from Pirates coaches, players, alumni, mascots, front office staff and more. Youth in attendance participated in fun and engaging baseball activities, and received two tickets to the Pirates vs. Padres 1:35 p.m. game later that day. Also, following the on-field event, Pirates infielder Josh Harrison was joined by former Pirate John Wehner to discuss hitting with the group, and offered tips and drills that participants can work on at home.
In addition to the on-field event, there were baseball-themed activities open to the public on Federal Street starting at 10 a.m., with giveaways including Pirates Play Ball T-Shirts, along with chances to win other prizes and interact with Pirates alumni, mascots and the Bucco Brigade.
The Pirates have partnered with Major League Baseball and USA Baseball to support the Play Ball campaign since 2015 and are now hosting their fourth annual MLB-sponsored Play Ball event. The purpose of the youth-driven initiative is to encourage participation in baseball, reminding everyone that there are many ways to enjoy the game of baseball that do not necessarily require two teams of nine players.
Pittsburgh RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) is part of the international MLB RBI program. Pittsburgh RBI began in 1994 as part of the Roberto Clemente Foundation. Because of the program's growth and its need for additional resources, Pittsburgh RBI became part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania in 2003. The Boys & Girls Club provides Pittsburgh RBI with the infrastructure and administrative services that are necessary for its success.
In addition to use of the Pirates Community Baseball Center (located at the Shadyside Boys & Girls Club), all Pittsburgh RBI participants receive complimentary coaching and training, as well as baseball or softball equipment and uniforms when needed.
In 2018, Pittsburgh RBI sent junior and senior select boys' baseball teams and a senior girls' softball team to the RBI Regional Tournament in Detroit to compete for the opportunity to represent the region at the RBI World Series in Minneapolis.
Our 2018 RBI Communities: Braddock, Brighton Heights, Carnegie, Clairton, Duquesne, East Hills, Homewood, McKeesport, Mount Oliver, North View Heights, Penn Hills, Shadyside, South Side, Swissvale, and Wilkinsburg.
For more information regarding the RBI program, please contact RBI@pirates.com.
TEAM OF THE GAME
The Pirates are proud to honor and celebrate local youth baseball/softball teams through the "Team of the Game" initiative, which was introduced as part of the Pirates Play Ball program on April 25, 2017 during a special on-field pregame ceremony attended by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting and President Frank Coonelly.
Continuing in the 2018 season, each team selected as a Pirates PLAY BALL Team of the Game receives complimentary tickets to a designated Tuesday game and Aramark food vouchers. The players and coaches are also recognized on the field during pregame ceremonies with a member of Pirates management and a Pirates player.
"The Team of the Game initiative is a great way for us to connect with area youth teams and to celebrate these young men and women with a night at the ballpark watching their Major League heroes," said Pirates President Frank Coonelly. "The Pirates are committed to helping our community strengthen what is already a very strong baseball and softball culture."
To be considered for the Team of the Game program, youth baseball and softball organizations should email the Pirates at PLAYBALL@pirates.com and tell us why your team should be selected. Perhaps you've won a championship, have a player with a special story, participated in a community service activity, reached an achievement, etc. Eligible teams are any youth baseball or softball team within the Pirates' market area, whose players are age 18 or younger. Teams are encouraged to be as creative as possible in their nomination submission, e.g. videos are welcomed! We will post winners' submissions on the Pirates social media outlets.
CITY WIFFLE BALL TOURNAMENT
On June 23 2018, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pirates Charities partnered with the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety to host a youth wiffle ball tournament at Highmark Stadium. Pirates pitcher Steven Brault joined Pirates President Frank Coonelly, broadcaster Greg Brown, and others from the Pirates at the event.
Each of the six Pittsburgh police zones fielded a squad of kids ages 8-12 who teamed with police officers from their zones to compete in a fun and interactive environment. The police officers, who acted as coaches and all-time pitchers for their teams, are searching for new ways to engage youth in the neighborhoods they patrol in an effort to promote a positive image and environment.
Members of the Pittsburgh Fire Department served as umpires for the morning event.
YOUTH BASEBALL SHOWCASES
Pirates Play Ball and 93.7 The Fan want to see your youth baseball or softball team in action! This program is intended to create awareness of youth baseball programs in the city, suburbs, and rural areas and stress the importance of having fun while participating in local youth baseball verses specialized privatization. We also want to recognize youth baseball participants, not just "all-stars" on the field.
On June 3, 2017, the Pirates, in partnership with 93.7 The Fan, surprised the Brighton Heights Athletic Association as part of MLB's Play Ball Weekend. Pirates alumni Grant Jackson and Manny Sanguillen were joined by Pirates mascots, Bucco Brigade members and in-game staff for a Youth Game Takeover.
BUCSOCIAL BALL GAME
On June 10, 2017, the Pirates hosted the first-ever Parents vs. Kids Social Media Ball Game on the field at PNC Park as part of the Pirates Play Ball weekend. Participants won two roster spots (them and their child) through Pirates Facebook and Twitter earlier in the week and had the chance to play with our special guests Josh Bell and Bob Walk. Stay tuned for more information about 2018 programming.
The Junior Pirates program started 25 years ago as a cooperative effort between Pittsburgh CitiParks and the Pittsburgh Pirates. It is a fun, fundamentals starter program to introduce the basics of baseball to youth ages 4-8 through a series of five stations.
With over 1000 participants at 12 sites throughout the City, it is one of the most successful programs operated and organized through the CitiParks' CitiSports program.
All Junior Pirate participants are honored at PNC Park on Junior Pirates Day and given tickets to that day's game, all courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
For questions regarding eligibility or to participate, contact CitiSports at 412.571.3222.
The Pirates continued their partnership with the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society and the Taylor Hooton Foundation in 2018 to host a PLAY (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth) Clinic on the field at PNC Park. The clinic, held on July 10, featured four active on-field stations conducted by Pirates trainers and medical staff, in addition to a "Hoots Chalk Talk" with the Taylor Hooton Foundation about the dangers of steroid abuse.
The event concluded with a visit from Pirates pitcher, Jameson Taillon. Taillon spoke with the 125 participants about what he does to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle before opening up for a Q&A and signing autographs.
The PLAY campaign holds events inside all 30 MLB ballparks between May and September. In each city, area youngsters between ages 8 and 17 will receive the opportunity to take part in PLAY.
Pirates Play Ball teamed up with Dick's Sporting Goods to launch the Future Pirates uniform program in 2017. The mission of this program is to outfit area youth baseball/softball players with Pirates-branded uniforms for their season. In 2017, Brighton Heights Athletic Association was the recipient of Pirates-branded uniforms for all of their 12U teams, serving approximately 120 youth, a total of 10 teams in three divisions of play. The Brighton Heights players received four styles of Pirates uniforms (gold, black, grey, and white), a different style for each team in each level of play.