Share This Page

Pirates embrace women's baseball clinic; $50,000 raised for charity, research

| Sunday, June 30, 2013, 10:33 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christine Adamek, 30, of the Ohio Twp. stands on the field at PNC Park on Sunday June 30, 2013 before the Pirates game against the Brewers. Adamek was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27 and underwent treatment.

Clint Hurdle learned that his mother had breast cancer on Valentine's Day in 1991.

It was the first time the Pirates manager ever saw his father cry. The reality that he could lose his mother, and his father could lose his wife, was a feeling he remembers clearly even today.

Fortunately for the Hurdle family, the story had a happy ending. His mother went through 25 radiation treatments and is a survivor, a fact he happily shared with the 300 women taking part in the third annual Pitch for Hope women's baseball clinic, benefitting the Pittsburgh-based A Glimmer of Hope foundation, on Sunday morning at PNC Park.

“It's always good to be a part of any fundraising opportunity, especially cancer awareness because it touches everybody,” Hurdle said. “Everybody knows somebody and it can be very personal. In my family, it was personal. So to come out here for a couple of hours ... there are a couple ladies who are going through treatments right now who are out here today or they're representing someone else, so there's a lot of significance.”

Christine Adamek was only 27 when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Prior to the diagnosis, Adamek said, she was the picture of health — working out, eating right, doing yoga, living a relatively stress-free life. She began a long process of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and a clinical trial.

That was three years ago.

“It's like getting smacked in the face with a shovel,” said Adamek of Ohio Township. “You wake up and deal with it. Now I'm dealing with focusing on all the things I went through and trying to get back to a normal life.”

Adamek said the only sport she follows is baseball, and she's participated in all three Pitch for Hope clinics at PNC Park. Sunday was particularly emotional, she said, because she's in such a different place in her life.

It also was a day to enjoy with friends on the field at PNC Park, getting tips on baseball fundamentals from Pirates coaches Euclides Rojas, Dave Jauss, Jeff Banister, Jay Bell and Rick Sofield, in addition to Hurdle. Team president Frank Coonelly also participated, with appearances by A.J. Burnett, Michael McKenry, Gerrit Cole and Jeff Locke.

“You could have a one-on-one conversation with Clint Hurdle,” Adamek said. “They're so laid back and such cool guys.”

Sunday's event, which was open to women and girls ages 14 and older, sold out and raised more than $50,000 for Glimmer of Hope. The foundation plans to use the money to help fund cutting-edge ultrasound equipment at the Allegheny General Hospital Breast Care Center.

“It isn't about baseball, even though that's what they're doing right now today,” Glimmer of Hope founder Diana Napper said. “It's about Clint Hurdle walking on the field and saying my mother's alive 20 years later. That's what it is. It's a tremendous amount of hope and energy they give to the survivors that are here.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.