Pirates Charities, the philanthropic arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates, has joined the Rotary Club of Murrysville-Export and the Municipality of Murrysville to support the construction of the Rotary Miracle Sports Complex of Murrysville. The centerpiece of the Complex will be the Bill Mazeroski Miracle Field, named after Pirates’ Hall of Famer and Westmoreland County resident Bill Mazeroski, and will be the home of the new Miracle League of Western Pennsylvania.
Located in the Murrysville Community Park off Weistertown Road, the field will serve Western Pennsylvania residents as the Miracle League of Western Pennsylvania will be open to any special needs child who wants to play. The Bill Mazeroski Miracle Field will also be unique in that it will be large enough to accommodate activities for disabled adults as well.
The Bill Mazeroski Miracle Field, which is the fourth in the greater Pittsburgh region in which Pirates Charities has played a vital role in constructing, will allow children with special needs to realize their dream of playing baseball, many of them for the very first time. As important, these children will now have the opportunity to develop relationships with their peers and coaches while playing on their very own field.
Other Miracle League Fields that Pirates Charities have assisted with:
• In May of 2009, Pirates Charities opened up the region’s first Miracle League Field in Cranberry Township, Pa. to benefit the Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania. More than 250 participants per season have benefitted from the Pirates Charities Miracle League Field located north of the city of Pittsburgh. In 2012 Pirates Charities renewed their commitment to the Cranberry Township field by donating funds to help construct a much needed storage facility.
• In October of 2011, Pirates Charities broke ground with Easter Seals and other Wheelingbased partners including, the J.B. Chambers Foundation, the City of Wheeling, Ogden News papers and the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, on the Miracle League Field of the Ohio alley in Wheeling, West Virginia. The field is scheduled to open later this summer.
• In February of 2012, Pirates Charities partnered with the Baltimore Orioles’ OriolesREACH on the grand opening of The Miracle League of Manasota Field presented by the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles, located in Longwood Park in the Sarasota-Bradenton, FL area.
• In May of 2012, Pirates Charities partnered with Casey’s Clubhouse to lead 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. More than 145 participants are taking part in the first-year league.
More than 240 Miracle League organizations operate across the country with the goal of empowering children and adults challenged by any form of special need to experience the joys and thrills of baseball regardless of their ability to play. The Miracle League, whose motto is “Every child deserves a chance to play baseball,” allows for each player to bat once each inning and that all batters are “safe” and score a run before the inning is over. Games are two innings long and each team and each player always wins. Integral to the Miracle League concept is the “Buddy System.” Buddies assist all Miracle League players, and are volunteers from youth baseball organizations, local civic and community groups, and individuals with an interest in helping players with special needs.
For more information about joining a team, volunteering during games or supporting the Miracle League of Western Pennsylvania, please visit www.miracleleaguewpa.org.