PirateFest will feature present, past players

PirateFest will feature present, past players

PirateFest will feature present, past players
DALLAS -- Andrew McCutchen, Joel Hanrahan and Neil Walker are among 15 Pirates players scheduled to appear at PirateFest, the organization's annual winter baseball carnival. This year's event will take place from Dec. 16-18 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh.

The session on Dec. 16 is open only to season-ticket holders.

Other players expected to participate in autograph sessions, question-and-answer sessions and other activities include: Jose Tabata, Pedro Alvarez, James McDonald, Daniel McCutchen, Kevin Correia, Jeff Karstens, Chris Resop, Brad Lincoln, Alex Presley, Michael McKenry, Clint Barmes and Rod Barajas.

Former Pirates players Kent Tekulve, Doug Drabek, Andy Van Slyke, Jose "Chico" Lind and Mike LaValliere will also be on hand to sign autographs.

The popular "Ask Pirates Management" Q-and-A session is returning, as are the "Minute to Win It" and "Deal or No Deal" games. Members of the Pirates coaching staff will be hosting clinics, and there will be a charity auction to benefit Pirates Charities.

In a new addition to the schedule, PirateFest will also offer an "Oh Say Can You Sing?" contest in which fans will compete for the chance to sing the Star Spangled Banner at a 2012 home game.

In partnership with the Central Blood Bank, the Pirates have also set up a blood drive for Dec. 17-18. Any fan who donates blood will receive free admission to PirateFest. The Pirates will also be collecting toys for a "Toys for Tots" toy drive. A Pirates "P" cookie cutter will be given to those who participate in the drive.

Tickets for PirateFest are already on sale ($12 for adult/$4 for children 14 or under). Fans can check the specific PirateFest schedule, which will be updated regularly as other events are finalized.

PirateFest will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 17 and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18. Tickets for 2012 home games will go on sale when the doors open on Saturday.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.