Pirates give back, host Miracle League Fantasy Camp – TribLIVE

Pirates give back, host Miracle League Fantasy Camp – TribLIVE

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The dog days of summer might be in full swing, but that hasn’t prevented the Pittsburgh Pirates from taking time to give back to the community.
On Saturday, Bucs players, coaches and executives made their way to a Miracle League Fantasy Camp event in Cranberry Township. The camp benefited children and young adults with special needs.
The camp, hosted by Pirates Charities and Baseball Fantasy Camp for Kids, aims to offer an experience akin to MLB clinics and camps, with the Pirates providing professional player- and coach-led activities that teach baseball.
Pirates chairman Bob Nutting was on hand at the event, which he has supported for more than 15 years, having overseen its growth.
“The first time we came out and we saw the smiles on the kids’ faces, we saw the tears in the parents’ eyes — once we saw it come to life, it was so easy then to make the decision to expand it,” he told AT&T SportsNet on-site. “Honestly, I’m just grateful to be able to participate and grateful that we’ve been able to support such an important program.”
Attendees at Pirates Charities Miracle League Field of Southwestern PA were grouped with the Pirates players and coaches who appeared: manager Derek Shelton, bench coach Don Kelly, catcher Jason Delay and pitchers David Bednar, Zach Thompson, Chase De Jong and Tyler Beede.
Pirates broadcaster Greg Brown emceed the day’s action.
Rotations ensued every 15 or so minutes to ensure the campers got to spend time with all of the Pirates.
Those who attended were treated to autographed memorabilia, including custom jerseys and hats, as well as a commemorative event medal and baseball card.
“It just puts your life in perspective, seeing what these kids are going through sometimes,” Thompson said. “I met Ella out here, and she’s had 27 brain surgeries. To see her smiling and having the best time ever, it means a lot to us to be able to come out here and see the smiles and be able to interact.
“Something as little as just being able to show up and be here for these kids, they get to have a blast.”
The waves of smiles throughout the event were evidence of what the day meant for the children, young adults and their parents.
For the Pirates, being accessible to fans and growing the game of baseball is rewarding in its own right.
“The takeaway for the players is just, No. 1, giving back to the community and, No. 2, realizing how much everyone loves the game. I think that’s really important,” Shelton said. “I think anything that you do that involves children keeps you grounded.”

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