Pittsburgh Pirates Gathering Relief Supplies for Storm-ravaged Puerto Rico

The Pittsburgh Pirates launch a two-day collection of relief supplies for Puerto Rico on Monday – players, coaches and staff to deliver items to the island.

The Pittsburgh Pirates took a cue from former player Roberto Clemente today, planning a relief supply collection and delivery effort for Puerto Rico. From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Pirates players, coaches and alumni will be on hand in the cul-de-sac outside PNC Park on Mazeroski Way collecting badly-needed supplies for the devastated island. Once collected, the Pirates, along with Fed Ex, will charter a plane and personally deliver and distribute the supplies.

The US territory sustained a direct hit from the category 4 Hurricane Maria some 10 days ago, with what is described as total devastation left in its wake. Since that time, the island has been without power and water and is running low on fuel and the essential supplies needed for everyday survival. Help has been slow in coming, prompting the mayor of San Juan, its capital city, to issue a public plea yesterday to media for assistance in solving what is quickly becoming a massive humanitarian crisis.

According to the Pirates broadcast this afternoon, Pirates base coach Joey Cora, a native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, reached out to Pirates owner Bob Nutting to put together the relief effort. His helmet yesterday and today, bore the words: “PR We will help you.” The team, Pirates Charities, and other community partners joined forces with Fed Ex to execute this mission.

Items Needed

They are accepting any new and unopened non-perishable items to help assist the people of Puerto Rico, including:

  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Baby formula, diapers and wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Garbage bags
  • Pet food
  • Batteries of all sizes

More background:

Nutting, along with Pittsburgh Pirates players, coaches and front office staff, will fly to the island to distribute collected goods to those in need.

“As the home of Roberto Clemente, Puerto Rico has a special place in the hearts of our organization and all of Pittsburgh. We are proud to join with FedEx and other local organizations to help in the collective efforts of bringing needed relief and comfort to its people,” said Nutting in the Pittsburgh Pirates press release. “Bringing like-minded organizations and our fans together to make a tangible and lasting impact on those in need is what Pirates Charities is all about.”

Clemente, who is known as much for his humanitarian efforts as he was for his baseball career, died on December 31, 1972 when a plane he chartered to deliver relief supplies to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua, crashed off of the coast of Puerto Rico.

All fans donating items receive a Pirates Roberto Clemente jersey tee shirt.

More information on the relief supplies drive will be available in the next few days, according to Pirates officials.

Read the Pittsburgh Pirates’ official press release on the effort.

Featured image courtesy AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh


Joy Frank-Collins

Joy Frank-Collins is a Communications professional who got her start writing as a journalist at a daily newspaper in southeastern Ohio. She was born in Reds country, but "found" baseball watching the 1986 Mets win the World Series. She lives in Marietta, Ohio, with her family, who all share her passion for Pirates baseball. She loves the suicide squeeze, a crisp 6-4-3 double play and catchers (especially Russell Martin). When not obsessing over baseball, Joy likes to work out, travel and drink wine. Check her out on Instagram @JoyFC