The sky was clear and the sun was shining on April 13th as a group of over 65 PALCS faculty, staff, students, and families gathered at the statue of Willie Stargell, the world-famous Pittsburgh Pirate, outside PNC Park on the North Shore of Pittsburgh for a tour of the baseball park.
At the park gate, the PALCS group was met by two enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guides, Jim and Bill. These two gentleman clearly shared not only a love for baseball and the Pirates, but also a love for PNC Park, a landmark in Pittsburgh since 2001.
Throughout the tour, the group was guided through many different areas of the ballpark, including some exclusive areas that only certain personnel are typically allowed in, such as the locker room and the coaches’ offices. During the tour, Jim and Bill shared the history PNC Park and the rich history of the team and past players.
The tour was brought up to the very impressive clubhouse, suite level, batting cages and press box, which is equipped to hold around 120 press members at one time while also providing the best view in the entire park. The view includes downtown Pittsburgh’s impressive skyline, the Allegheny River, and the Roberto Clemente bridge.
As the tour ventured through the park, Jim and Bill shared many facts with the group: home plate is 456 feet from the river; in 18 years, only 3 people have hit a ball into the river; there are 38,747 seats in the park, all of which are navy blue. They later revealed the color of the seats was chosen in honor of the memory of Forbes Fields, a previous home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the original home of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Once we reached the dugout, students had the opportunity to sit on the benches where the players sit. Jim began a game of Pirate and PNC Park trivia, making sure the students were paying attention during our tour. The first five PALCS students who answered the questions correctly were awarded with a baseball card that would lead them to a treasure chest. The tour ended with a quick walk on the side of the field and the discovery of the Pirates treasure chest, where the trivia game winners were called up to choose from a wide range of prizes, including baseballs, t-shirts, towels, and more.
The end of the tour was followed by a bagged lunch get-together along the Allegheny River at the picturesque picnic area right outside of PNC park.
What a memorable day for the PALCS community! We would like to thank all of our students and their families who made the trip out, as well as our wonderful tour guides at PNC Park who truly made us feel welcomed with their generous hospitality.
PALCS families, be sure to check PALCSchool and your school calendar for upcoming events, field trips and activity group details!