PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Dennis Bair was a minor league pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, until his career was cut short by injuries.
But signing team photos for fans gave him an idea.
Noticing that “missing children” photos on food packages and fliers get thrown out with the trash, “I said ‘We can put a picture of a missing child on the team poster, and not only will people not throw it away but they’ll line up to get it.'”
He convinced a number of minor league teams to include the photo of a child in the corner of team photographs.
Now, his organization has made its way to the major leagues.
He has installed a large back-lit sign in the PNC concourse, featuring the photos of 10 missing children. The sign includes information of a program he founded called “Bring Home 100.”
So far, six of those 100 have returned home safely. One of those who made it back is Tanya Kach from his hometown of Mckeesport.
“I featured her picture with the Erie Seawolves for a couple seasons,” he recalls. “It was shortly thereafter that Tanya Kach was found. At the time she was found she was missing for 10 years.”
The Pirates are the first professional sports team of any kind to feature his message in their concourse. But the former pitcher hopes his pitch will soon expand far beyond the walls of PNC Park.
“We’re going to grow a nationwide program in every major sport in every stadium and arena in the country,” he says.