The Pirates rolled out their Team of the Game program during a pre-game, on-field ceremony at PNC Park on April 25. The initiative is an element of the ballclub's expanded PLAY BALL youth baseball and softball efforts. The Pirates have saluted a Team of the Game at each Tuesday home game this season.
During the April 25 ceremony, Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting and President Frank Coonelly were joined by Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and the Pirates' first Team of the Game -- the baseball team from Pittsburgh's Holy Family Academy, which enjoyed its second season as a program this year.
Holy Family Academy is an affordable and innovative independent Catholic high school that focuses on college and career readiness. Upon learning that the school needed equipment and uniforms, Pirates Charities -- in partnership with Dick's Sporting Goods -- purchased items to ensure that the team was ready for the season. In addition, the Pirates and MLB donated $7,600 to the help fund the academy's baseball program.
"The Team of the Game program is one of several that reflect the renewed focus and energy behind our commitment to support youth baseball and softball programs throughout our region," Nutting said. "Major League Baseball, under the leadership of Commissioner Manfred, has made tremendous strides in promoting and growing our game of baseball. We are proud to share in that commitment here in our local communities."
Throughout the 2017 season, each team selected as a Pirates Team of the Game has received complimentary tickets to a Tuesday home game and Aramark food vouchers. In addition, its players and coaches have been recognized during pregame ceremonies by a member of Pirates management and a Pirates player. A team photo is also taken and each player and coach receives a Pirates PLAY BALL photo frame as a keepsake of the evening.
WPIAL and PIAA champion high school baseball and softball teams, the inaugural champion of the Pittsburgh RBI 12U Tournament, and the Pittsburgh CitiParks Mayor's Cup champion have also been among those saluted via the Pirates Team of the Game initiative. For more information about Pirates Play Ball activities, please visit PiratesPlayBall.com.