The Pittsburgh Pirates announced today they will visit a local elementary school as part of Roberto Clemente Day celebration tomorrow, Tuesday, September 17 beginning at 11 a.m. During the event, Pirates' players will hand-deliver school supplies to and meet with the children at Pittsburgh Spring Hill K-5 Elementary, a Pittsburgh Public School.
Last year, the Pirates visited the children of Pittsburgh Dilworth Elementary School. This initiative is part of the Clemente Day events, which celebrate the life and community service legacy of Pirates Hall-of-Famer Roberto Clemente.
During the Pirates' visit to Pittsburgh Spring Hill, the children in grades three through five will attend an assembly, emceed by Pirates broadcaster Tim Neverett, with Pirates front office staff, players and coaches from 10:45 a.m. to noon. Students will have the opportunity to hear from Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, as well as meet many of the players and coaches. This year the Pirates will partner with the Carnegie Science Center, which will present the Physics of Baseball during the assembly.
Also throughout the morning, the Pirates Wives Organization will visit classrooms and read to children in kindergarten through second grade who cannot attend the assembly. The Pirates Wives also will donate a portable bookcase filled with books for the school's library. During the morning event, Pirates' players will help to distribute $40,000 in school supplies and equipment purchased by Pirates Charities including iPads, book bags, Roberto Clemente books and more.
On Tuesday, September 17, during a special pregame ceremony at PNC Park, the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award will be presented to Pirates' three-time All-Star Andrew McCutchen who combines outstanding skills on the baseball field with devoted work in the community. In addition to the award, McCutchen will be presented with a framed, vintage replica Roberto Clemente jersey for his work in the community. As part of an MLB-wide initiative, McCutchen will join 29 other players, one from every club, and will be eligible to win the 2013 Major League Baseball Clemente Award. This overall award will be given during the 2013 World Series.
The Pirates will also recognize one player from each of their minor league affiliates as the recipients of the organization's fourth annual Pirates Community Commitment Program (PCCP) awards. This program encourages players throughout the Pirates' system to emulate Clemente's legacy of community service.
More than 18,000 hours of community service have been performed by Pirates players throughout the organization since the program was implemented in 2008. Each player has completed a minimum of 10 hours of community service in their respective affiliate's community during this season.
The players receiving the PCCP awards include:
• Jerry Sands, Indianapolis Indians (AAA)
• Nick Kingham, Altoona Curve (AA)
• Matthew Benedict, Bradenton Marauders (High-A)
• Jonathan Schwind and Jordan Steranka, West Virginia Power (Low-A)
• Jeff Roy, Jamestown Jammers (Short Season-A)
• Samuel Gonzalez, Gulf Coast League Pirates (Rookie League)
• Jherson Esqueda, Dominican Summer League Pirates Team 1
• Steven De La Mota, Dominican Sumer League Pirates Team 2
Steranka and Schwind combined completed over 100 hours of community service. Steranka is a Mt. Lebanon native and Penn State product who has donated his time to many local organizations in Charleston including the Boys & Girls Club, Animal Shelters, Challenger Leagues and nursing facilities. Schwind resides in Hilton, New York and donated his time and efforts this off-season to students affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy.