The Pittsburgh Pirates collected more than 450,000 pounds of supplies to donate to the people of Puerto Rico as the island reels from Hurrican Maria, including food, water, generators, and diapers, to go along with more than $200,000 raised through affiliated charities
Members of the Pittsburgh Pirates will personally deliver the supplies to Puerto Rico later this week, including to the hometown of third base coach Joey Cora, a fan favorite during his 11-year MLB career.
The Pirates’ efforts were spearheaded by two players: Francisco Cervelli and Sean Rodriguez; who, despite having Spanish-sounding last names, do not hail from Puerto Rico. Their initiative snowballed into a community-wide campaign that included everyone from team owners down to regular Pittsburgh residents.
“The part you can’t put a numeric value on is the teamwork that took place over the last few days. Everyone worked together If I could bottle the feeling in this office right now I would so we could open it and share it again whenever we need it.”
Bob Nutting, owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates are afforded the luxury a franchise-wide fundraising operation in early October because they finished 12 games under .500 this year. It warms the heart that the team has come together to affect change in a positive way, but Pirates fans would rather see their team in the playoffs than volunteering at this juncture.
That sentiment isn’t lost on Cervelli, one of the two players instrumental in bringing this all together.
“Next year, we’ve got to do something for them special. Just win the whole thing. Next year, about this time, we’re going to be full of trucks, but just with cameras because we’re going to play in the playoffs.”
For an organization that takes its name from people known from robbing, raping, and pillaging, the Pittsburgh Pirates are actually a bunch of stand-up guys.