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Youth Baseball Programs


The Pirates partnered with Major League Baseball and USA Baseball to support the PLAY BALL campaign in 2016. PLAY BALL is a youth-driven initiative to encourage participation in baseball, reminding people that there are many ways to enjoy the game of baseball that do not necessarily require two teams of nine players.

On Saturday, June 11, the Pirates hosted their official 2016 Play Ball event on the field at PNC Park for youth ages 5-12, offering instruction and entertainment from Pirates players, alumni, mascots, front office staff, and more. The children participated in fun and engaging baseball activities, learning that there are more casual ways to participate in baseball activities.


Participants were divided into groups and rotated through stations including hitting, fielding, pitching in the bullpen, and interactive games. There was also an opportunity for all children to win prizes in a wiffle ball Home Run Derby set up on the Roberto Clemente Bridge.

Parents and guardians were able to watch the activities from the stands, while all participants received lunch and giveaways to take home.

Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run

Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run (PHR) is an exciting baseball/softball skills competition that provides boys and girls, ages 7 to 14, the opportunity to showcase their pitching, hitting and running abilities.

Boys and girls in all 50 states and beyond have the opportunity to compete. Competitions can host boys and girls on the same date and time, but boy and girl winners in each age group will be awarded separately.

PHR participants can advance through four levels of competition, including Local and Sectional competitions, Team Championship events at all 30 Major League ballparks, and the National Finals at the MLB All-Star Game.

2009 National finalists were honored during the State Farm Home Run Derby.There are four levels of competition - Local, Sectional, Team Championship and National Finals

  • Local: Hosted one day in March, April or early May
  • Sectional: All Local winners advance to a Sectional in their area
  • Team Championship: The top scorers are eligible to compete in a Major League Stadium in June
  • National Finals: The top scores nationwide earn an all-expense paid trip to the MLB All-Star Game to compete in the National Finals competition

Sign up to hostThe official skills competition of Major League Baseball, PHR is intended to encourage youth participation and emphasize the fun element of baseball and softball. All participants must begin by competing in a Local competition, which can be hosted by any organization, league, civic group or set of volunteers in the community. PHR is free of charge to both the participants and the local hosting organization.

PHR is a 1-day event that is easy to administrate and can often be completed in only a few hours. The competition can be hosted on a baseball/softball diamond or any open field. Registered hosts will receive an administrative kit with a handbook, promotional posters, registration forms, strike zone banner, award ribbons, participation baseball cards for all participants and more information required to host the event.

For general information, send your name, address, organization and questions to:

Baseball Tomorrow Fund

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) is a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. The mission of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund is to promote and enhance the growth of baseball in the United States, Canada and throughout the world by funding programs, fields and equipment purchases to encourage and maintain youth participation in the game.

Grants from BTF are designed to be sufficiently flexible to enable applicants to address needs unique to their communities. The funds may be used to finance a new program, expand or improve an existing program, undertake a new collaborative effort, or obtain facilities or equipment necessary for youth baseball or softball programs. Applications are provided by BTF and available through the Pirates Community Relations Department.

Check presentation photoDuring the 2010 season, in addition to donated equipment, the Pittsburgh RBI program was selected to receive a grant of $5,000 and was presented check during a Pirates on-field pregame ceremony by pitcher Paul Maholm.

BTF also facilitates equipment donation drives to collect new and used baseball and softball equipment for youth organizations in need of these items. The Pirates collection day was held August 5, 2010 outside of PNC Park. Thank you to everyone who chose to donate to this wonderful cause!

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is intended to provide funding for incremental programming and facilities for youth baseball and not as a substitute for existing funding or fundraising activities or to provide routine or recurring operating costs or funding for construction or maintenance of buildings.

BTF supports equal opportunity in its grant making. The opportunities that prospective grantee organizations provide for minorities and women will be considered in evaluating proposals.

Opportunities for Inner City Youth

Pirates Community Baseball Center

Pirates Charities partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and the Roberto Clemente Foundation to reenergize the Shadyside Boys & Girls Club's community facility and build an indoor baseball/softball complex called the Pirates Community Baseball Center.

This facility features enclosed batting cages, automatic pitching machines, two multi-media training rooms, storage facilities, and baseball and softball equipment. The Pirates Community Baseball Center is designed to offer a widespread positive impact on youth throughout the region by giving all youth a place to focus on productive activities and positive interaction with their peers and coaches.

The Pirates Community Baseball Center is open year-round and there are no age requirements.

Check out the Pirates Community Baseball Center by contacting the Shadyside Boys & Girls Clubs at 412-681-8575.

Pittsburgh RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner City)

Pittsburgh RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) is part of the international MLB RBI program. Pittsburgh RBI began in 1994 as part of the Roberto Clemente Foundation. Because of the program's growth and its need for additional resources, in 2003, Pittsburgh RBI became part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania. The Boys & Girls Club provides Pittsburgh RBI with the infrastructure and administrative services that are necessary for its success.

In addition to use of the Pirates Community Baseball Center, all Pittsburgh RBI participants receive complimentary coaching and training, as well as baseball or softball equipment and uniforms when needed.

Junior Pirates

The Junior Pirates program started 22 years ago as a cooperative effort between Citiparks and the Pittsburgh Pirates. It is a fun through fundamentals starter program to introduce the basics of baseball to youth ages 4-8 through a series of 5 stations. With over 2500 participants at 20 sites throughout the city, it is one of the most successful programs operated and organized through the BIG League program.

Learn more about the Junior Pirates program »


The Pirates are proud to be an integral part of our community. We thank you for your support and for considering us to be a part of your fundraising event.

The Pirates are happy to donate tickets and/or autographed items to area youth baseball teams to use as raffle/auction items for fundraising purposes.

Learn more about our Donation Program and use our Online Request Form »