For more than 15 years, Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting and Pirates Charities has been proud to support Miracle League programs in the greater Pittsburgh region and Manatee County, Florida by providing athletes with unique abilities the opportunity to play the sport they love and give them a place where the focus is on what they can do, rather than what they can’t do.
Pirates Charities has partnered with numerous Miracle Leagues to increase accessibility for the game and allow every athlete the chance to play baseball. From helping leagues build their adaptive fields, to hosting unique Pirates programing on these fields, to supporting opportunities for their athletes to grow off the field, Pirates Charities is honored to work in tandem with the amazing individuals who are dreaming big and working hard for every Miracle League player.
Since 2008, Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting has partnered with nine community organizations across three states, to build custom-designed fields that feature cushioned, rubberized surfaces to help prevent injuries, accessible dugouts and completely flat surfaces including no raised bases or pitching mounds to eliminate any barriers to wheelchair-bound or visually impaired players.
In 2022, Pirates Charities hosted Miracle League Day at PNC Park where athletes from each of the eight local Miracle Leagues joined us at the ballpark along with their buddies and families to be recognized and celebrate their accomplishments. One athlete from each Miracle League proudly represented their league by taking the field with their favorite Pirates players for the gameday lineup.
In addition, Pirates Charites host Fantasy Camps for Miracle League athletes on July 30, 2022, and most-recently February 22, 2023. These special events bring Pirates players, coaches, mascots and executives together with Miracle League athletes for a special on-field clinic experience, creating once-in-a-lifetime memories for all.
More information on these events and the Miracle League organizations supported by Pirates Charities can be found below.
MIRACLE LEAGUE FANTASY CAMP
On April 22, Pirates Charities hosted a Miracle League Fantasy Camp at the Miracle League of South Hills where 45 of their athletes were joined by Pirates players, coaches, significant others and mascots as they practiced their skills throughout this clinic-style event. Each Miracle League athlete was outfitted in a custom Pirates jersey with their name on the back, a Pirates hat and other Pirates goodies prior to the clinic, which took place on their newly re-surfaced adaptive playing field that Pirates Charities helped to support. Each athlete had their name announced during the opening ceremonies and then rotated through five stations, hitting, pitching, fielding, fly balls and base running, while Pirates players and coaching staff gave them pointers, encouragement and a unique Pirates experience they and their families will never forget.
On February 22, Pirates Charities hosted a Miracle League Fantasy Camp for 35 athletes from the Miracle League of Manasota alongside Pirates players, coaches, and mascots. Each Miracle League athlete received a custom Pirates jersey with their name on the back, a Pirates hat and other Pirates goodies prior to enjoying the clinic-style event, which took place on an adaptive playing surface to ensure athletes of all abilities could enjoy the event. Each athlete had their name announced during the opening ceremonies, shook hands with Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting and then rotated through five stations, hitting, pitching, fielding, fly balls and base running, while Pirates players and coaching staff gave them pointers and provided a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these athletes and their families.
On July 30, Pirates Charities hosted a Miracle League Fantasy Camp in Cranberry, PA. Athletes from all eight Miracle Leagues in the Pittsburgh region participated in this station-style clinic, with Pirates players, coaches and front office staff. As athletes arrived, they received a custom Pirates jersey with their name on the back, a Pirates hat and various other goodies. Each athlete had their name announced during the opening ceremonies and then rotated through four stations: hitting, pitching, fielding and base running. Pirates players and coaching staff gave athletes pointers at each station.
MIRACLE LEAGUE FIELDS
Miracle League of Moon
The Moon Township Miracle League field is now complete! The Miracle League of Moon Township celebrated their inaugural season this past summer. Pirates Charities has partnered with the new Miracle League of Moon Township as well as a number of other community partners to help build and complete the Miracle League of Moon Township at People's Park Field and support the addition of an adaptive playground next to the field. The new adaptive playground will be coming soon!
Miracle League of South Hills
The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field of the South Hills was brought to it's Upper St. Clair, PA location thanks to former Major League player and Pittsburgh native Sean Casey. Opened in 2012, Pirates Charities provided financial support for the project and worked with Sean to generate awareness for the effort. Over 200 youth and adults participate in the South Hills program. A specially designed, accessible playground was added to the complex in 2015. Pirates Charities provided additional funding for this expansion and most recently, was thrilled to support the opening of their Next Inning Project, an effort to provide their of-age athletes with employment opportunities in their concession stand and field.
Miracle League of South Western PA
The Miracle League of Southwestern PA was the first Miracle League partnership for Pirates Charities. The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field was opened in May 2009 and continues to grow and flourish today. More than 500 youth and adults participate in three divisions - Miracle Division (for youth between the ages of 5 and 17), Competitive Division (for youth between the ages of 5 and 17 with more advanced skills) and an Adult Division (for participants 18 years of age and older). The field is located within the DICK’S Sporting Goods Sportsplex at Graham Park, and hosted the first Miracle League All- Star Weekend in 2018 - with all eight Pirates Charities-supported Miracle Leagues represented.
Miracle League of Western PA
The Bill Mazeroski Miracle League Field opened in Murrysville in 2012. The Murrysville program was started by the local Rotary Club of Murrysville-Export and the Municipality of Murrysville. This field is the largest in the region, and the complex also includes an accessible basketball court, fitness trail and picnic pavilion. More than 100 children and adults belong to the program. Pirates Charities contributed financially to the development of this project and assisted with various fundraising efforts.
Miracle League of Indiana County
In May of 2015, the Miracle League of Indiana County hosted its grand opening. Indiana, PA is located approximately 90 minutes from the City of Pittsburgh. The Indiana County YMCA partnered with Pirates Charities on the construction of the field, and now operates the Miracle League program. To date, more than 130 youth and adults participate. Pirates Charities provided financial support to assist with the construction of the field.
Miracle League of Blair County
Founded in 2007, the Miracle League of Blair County is located in Altoona, PA. Altoona is also the home of the Pirates AA Affiliate, the Altoona Curve. Pirates Charities supports the Blair County program with funding and in-kind donations. Approximately 150 participants belong to the Blair County Miracle League.
Miracle League of Ohio Valley
In May 2013, the Miracle League of the Ohio Valley held its first game. Pirates Charities, Ogden Newspapers, the J. B. Chambers Foundation, the City of Wheeling, and the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley were major contributors to the project. The Ohio Valley Miracle League Field is located within the J.B. Chambers Complex and is run under the auspices of the local YMCA. There are 100 total participants in the program.
Miracle League of Manasota
The Miracle League of Manasota began in February 2012, when the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles partnered to begin the program in their Spring Training home. Both teams contributed financially to the project, and continue to provide support to this day. There are more than 150 participants in the program.
Rose and Dennis Heindl Memorial Field
In August of 2018, Pirates Charities was proud to help open the Rose and Dennis Heindl Memorial Field, a Challenger Field located in Dubois, PA. With a $100,000 contribution to the fields’ construction, Pirates Charities was an integral part in bringing this accessible field, designed specifically for easy mobility and wheelchair access, to the community for kids and adults of all abilities to enjoy together. Currently the Dubois Challenger Baseball League serves over 70 players across seven teams.