Former Pirates Minor League pitcher Chris Combs was brought in as a featured speaker this spring as part of the Pirates Community Commitment Program, which encourages players to participate in community service efforts. Combs, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in May of 2016, was a college teammate of Andy Barkett's at North Carolina State. Barkett is currently the manager of the Pirates' Indianapolis (AAA) farm club.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have deep roots in Bradenton, FL, having conducted their spring training camp there since 1969, and the connection has grown stronger in recent years. The positive impact the Pirates and the Bradenton Marauders minor-league franchise make in the Bradenton community throughout the year is at an all-time high.
"Long Live Their Legacy" is a Black History Month initiative the Pirates designed to help educate students in surrounding communities about Negro League baseball, its ties to Pittsburgh, and the significant influence it has had on the game.
The Pirates, Dick's Sporting Goods and Baseball Factory teamed up to offer local youth baseball and softball coaches a free, three-session coaches' clinic early in 2017. The clinics, conducted by instructors from Baseball Factory, featured a focus on offensive basics, defensive fundamentals, and practice creativity and productivity.
On April 8, the Pirates joined the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and the city of New Castle, PA, to reopen Edward A. DeCarbo Field at Dean Park, following extensive renovations made possible by grants from the Pirates Charities Fields for Kids program and the Baseball Tomorrow Fund.
Pirates Charities Action Math Baseball is an integrated math program for students in grades four through eight. Via the program, students learn math skills through baseball statistics in a way that's fun and engaging, using statistics from current Pirates players as well as player cards they create to compete against one another in simulated baseball games.