06/09/2011 2:25 PM ET
Former MLB player Sean Casey's charity breaks ground on the Pirates Charities Miracle League Field of the South Hills
Pirate Charities and Casey's Clubhouse help bring the game of baseball to special needs kids
Today Pittsburgh native Sean Casey and his wife Mandi's charity, Casey's Clubhouse (www.caseysclubhouse.org) and Bob Nutting, Chairman of the Pittsburgh Pirates charitable foundation, Pirates Charities, broke ground on a custom-designed field for the Miracle League of the South Hills at the Upper St. Clair Community & Recreation Center in Boyce Mayview Park. The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field of the South Hills will provide special needs children with a place they can play baseball no matter their physical challenges.
The Caseys founded Casey's Clubhouse in 2010 to help fulfill the Miracle League's mission that "every child deserves the chance to play baseball." Through a fundraising campaign the charity raised over $1 million for the construction of the field, maintenance and funding for the league.
In addition to Pirates Charities, taking part in the groundbreaking were representatives from Casey's Clubhouse's "Starting Lineup," donors who each gave $50,000 or more to help build the field. Members of the "Starting Lineup" include FedEx Ground, UPMC, UPMC Health Plan, Centimark, Highmark, A.C. Dellovade, Giant Eagle, Rohrich Lexus and the Casey Family Foundation. Also helping break ground were partners in building the field P.J. Dick - Trumbull - Lindy Paving, Upper St. Clair Township and local dignitaries from throughout the South Hills.
"This field represents the best parts of our community," said Sean Casey, former three-time MLB All-Star. "So many people have come together to create a truly special place for some really special kids. The best part is for years people will be able to look at this field and see these kids play ball and know that they were a part of making that happen."
The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field of the South Hills is the fifth field for children with special needs that Pirates Charities has supported. In May of 2009, Pirates Charities opened up the region's first Miracle League Field in Cranberry Township, Pa.
"The Miracle League is such a special program that is near and dear to the Pirates and Pirates Charities. We are proud to partner with Sean, Mandi and the many other supporters to begin to make this dream a reality," said Nutting. "While today is an exciting day, nothing will be more rewarding for me personally than to see the smiles on the faces of these children as their proud parents and loved ones look on when the umpire yells 'play ball.'"
The complex will include a custom-designed rubberized surface to help prevent injuries and will be completely wheelchair accessible in order to allow children of all abilities to take the field. The facility will feature dugouts, restrooms and a flat surface that eliminates barriers for wheelchair-bound or visually impaired players, as well as a playground for the entire community to enjoy.
"Sean and I have been completely floored by the generosity we have seen throughout this process," said Mandi Casey. "Helping build this field is something we are so proud to be a part of and we want to thank everyone who so generously donated money, time, their talents and efforts to bring a Miracle League field to the South Hills."
For more information on Casey's Clubhouse, to volunteer or to make a donation, please visit www.caseysclubhouse.org.
For additional information on Pirates Charities, please visit www.pirates.com/piratescharities
About Casey's Clubhouse:
Casey's Clubhouse upholds the mission statement of all Miracle League fields: "Every Child Deserves A Chance to Play Baseball." We are bringing the game of baseball to children who may have never had the opportunity to play on a real field. By building a custom-designed field with a cushioned rubberized surface to help prevent injuries, wheelchair accessible dugouts and a completely flat surface to eliminate any barriers to wheel-chair bound or visually impaired players, Casey's Clubhouse has eliminated the challenges that prevent many children from playing the game of baseball. In addition to giving kids the chance to play the game, we are dedicated to bringing together special needs and mainstream children through our "Buddies" program. We believe that the baseball field is a place that can connect all children by building teamwork and friendship. To learn more information about Casey's Clubhouse, visit www.caseysclubhouse.org.
About Pirates Charities:
Pirates Charities, the philanthropic arm of arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is a 501(c)3 organization that focuses on three core areas of youth health, fitness and education. Since its inception in late 2006, Pirates Charities has contributed more than $1.7 million to worthwhile projects and programs in the greater Pittsburgh, Bradenton, FL and Estorga, Dominican Republic communities. To learn more about Pirates Charities and the Pirates positive impact in the community, visit www.pirates.com/piratescharities.