PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Over the course of two days, the Pirates collected 450,000 pounds of supplies to assist the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Goods included food, water, generators, diapers and pet and cleaning supplies donated by local businesses and thousands of Pittsburghers.
In addition, Pirates Charities raised more than $200,000 with donations from players, corporations and fans.
“The part you can’t put a numeric value on is the teamwork that took place over the last few days,” said Pirates owner Bob Nutting. “Everyone worked together. If I could bottle the feeling in this office right now, I would so we could open it and share it again whenever we need it.”
KDKA’s Rick Dayton Reports —
Members of the Pirates’ organization will hand deliver some of the supplies to Puerto Rico on Thursday, including Caguas, the hometown of third base coach Joey Cora.
“It’s tough to take, but we’re doing our part,” he said. “We’re doing the right thing, and all the partners that help out, all the people here in Pittsburgh that came through that line on Monday and Tuesday, which was unbelievable, thank you.”
The late Roberto Clemente, a Puerto Rico native, was a common subject throughout the Pirates’ relief efforts. Cora added to that conversation as he thanked the people of Pittsburgh.
“You don’t need to retire No. 21 to know his legacy is going to last forever,” he said. “Everybody in the world knows who No. 21 is. We as players, as players, as coaches, front office personnel, president, owner, we’re going to keep that legacy going no matter what.”
Francisco Cervelli and Sean Rodriguez were two of the players at the forefront of the initiative, receiving several of the donations themselves. Rodriguez told a story of one woman with family in Puerto Rico who broke down in tears when she heard members of the Pirates’ organization were hand delivering the supplies.
“If you don’t already see it, if you don’t feel that perspective, that understanding of what’s going on, you just keep getting it from people who were either born over there and live here now, or were born here in the [United States], but have family over there,” he said. “Yeah, it’s awesome.”
Cervelli was quick to thank the people of Pittsburgh, saying the Pirates need to repay them with next year’s action on the diamond.
“Next year, we’ve got to do something for them special,” he said with a smile. “Just win the whole thing. Next year, about this time, we’re going to be full of trucks, but just with cameras because we’re going to play in the playoffs.”