05/26/2012 2:47 PM EST
Play ball! Casey's Clubhouse and Pirates Charities celebrate Opening Day of the Miracle League of the South Hills
Pirate Charities and Casey’s Clubhouse help bring the game of baseball to kids with special needs
Today, Pittsburgh native Sean Casey and his wife Mandi’s charity, Casey’s Clubhouse (www.caseysclubhouse.org) and Bob Nutting, Chairman of Pirates Charities, the philanthropic arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates, led Opening Day festivities for the inaugural season of the Miracle League of the South Hills at the Upper St. Clair Community & Recreation Center in Boyce Mayview Park. The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field of the South Hills is providing special needs children with a place they can play baseball regardless of their challenges.
The Casey family founded Casey’s Clubhouse in 2010 to help fulfill the Miracle League’s mission that “every child deserves the chance to play baseball.” Through a fundraising campaign, the charity raised more than $1 million for the construction of the field, maintenance and funding for the league.
In addition to Pirates Charities, representatives from Casey’s Clubhouse’s “Starting Lineup,” donors who each gave $50,000 or more to help build the field, were on hand to mark the occasion. Members of the “Starting Lineup” include FedEx Ground, UPMC, UPMC Health Plan, Centimark, Highmark, A.C.
Dellovade, Giant Eagle, Rohrich Lexus and the Casey Family Foundation. Also helping break ground were partners in building the field: P.J. Dick – Trumbull – Lindy Paving, Upper St. Clair Township, local dignitaries from throughout the South Hills, and members of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“Today we get to celebrate the absolute best in our community,” said Sean Casey, former Pittsburgh Pirate and three-time MLB All-Star. “So many people have come together to create a truly amazing place for a group of really special kids. For years people will be able to look at this field, see the smiles on the faces of these kids playing ball and know that they were a part of something truly awesome.”
The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field of the South Hills is the fifth field for children with special needs that Pirates Charities has supported. In May of 2009, Pirates Charities opened up the region’s first Miracle League Field in Cranberry Township, Pa.
“The Miracle League is such a special program that is near and dear to the Pirates and Pirates Charities. Nothing is more rewarding for me personally than to see the smiles on the faces of these children as their proud parents and loved ones look on,” said Nutting. “We are proud to partner with Sean, Mandi and the many other supporters on this project and excited to continue to make the dream of Miracle League programs a reality throughout our region.”
The complex features a custom-designed rubberized surface that is completely wheelchair accessible in order to allow children of all abilities to take the field. The facility also includes dugouts, restrooms and a flat surface that eliminates barriers for wheelchair-bound or visually impaired players, as well as a playground for the entire community to enjoy.
“So many people have played a vital role in helping bring the Miracle League to the South Hills of Pittsburgh,”said Mandi Casey. “From the bottom of our hearts we wish to thank everyone who helped make this ‘Field of Dreams’ a reality.”
For more information on the Miracle League of the South Hills, to volunteer or to make a donation, please visit www.miracleleaguesouthhills.org.
For additional information on Pirates Charities, please visit www.pirates.com/piratescharities.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.