Friday, December 28, 2012
By NATALIE SCOTT
The Pittsburgh Pirates Winter Caravan made a stop at Poland Union Elementary School Dec. 12 to create interest in baseball and to encourage a closer fan-base in the area. The caravan, complete with manager Clint Hurdle and Pirates players Josh Harrison (infield), Alex Presley (outfield), Gaby Sanchez (first base), and the Pirate’s parrot as well as a Pittsburgh Pirates sports announcer, Union students were treated to a fun event that enabled them to meet some of their favorite players and see the kinds of athletes that they aspire to be.
“I love doing this kind of stuff,” said Harrison. “When you interact with kids, you never know what could happen. I like to know that this stuff matters a lot to some kids and I want to be a positive influence on them.”
The announcer encouraged all of the Union students to do their very best work every day. He told the children that they had to be “major league” to get where they want to be both in school and in life.
As part of the Pirates visit, a couple students were called to the front of the assembly to play a family-feud style game with the players and manager that used Pittsburgh Pirates statistics. The best part of this games was that if one of the teams got 100 points in one round of the game, the whole school got tickets to travel to Pittsburgh and see the Pirates play first-hand.
“I have a 10-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son, so I am in schools like yours all the time when I’m not on the road,” said Hurdle. “One thing I’ve learned is that if you want to learn anything, you’ve got to use your eyes and your ears. Listen and you will learn.”
The Pittsburgh Pirates Winter Caravan will travel to different schools all throughout the off-season. To learn more about the team, visit http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com.