Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Pittsburgh Pirates' DR Academy

By Ryan King (SMBA '11)

Last Wednesday, half the class had the opportunity to visit the new $5 million Pittsburgh Pirates’ Dominican baseball academy. Four things about this beautiful facility stood out to me during our tour. First was the branding of the Pittsburgh Pirates ‘P’ logo throughout the facility. Second were the pictures and memorabilia of Pirates’ legends displayed throughout the building; especially of Pirates’ legend, Roberto Clemente, who was pictured in the first photo we saw when we walked in the front door. Third was the importance the team placed on educating their players. The organization partnered with a local university to teach the players for a month in January, as well as have 3 hours of class per day during the season and then encourages their players to pass equivalence tests for 8th grade and high school. Fourth was the significance the team placed on community service. The team requires their players to all do a minimum of five hours of service per season. They then reward one player who performed the most service with a trip to Pittsburgh to be honored by the major league team.

After visiting the academy, we took a trip to the local school where the Pirates do most of their local service. The team built a brick wall around the school, which the headmaster said was very important for the safety of the students. They also donated tables and computers to the school. Overall, seeing the Pirates academy and the impact that they have on the local community was very enlightening.

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