Allegheny Valley, Leechburg Little League programs benefit from donation | TribLIVE.com
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Allegheny Valley, Leechburg Little League programs benefit from donation

Michael Love
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Lou Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Joey Stanonis (10) of the Leechburg Dirt Devils tries out his new helmet donated by Pittsburgh Pirates Charities.
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Lou Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Blake Tinnemeyer (7), playing for the Leechburg Pirates, makes a play with a new glove donated by the Pittsburgh Pirates Charities on April 27, 2019.
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Lou Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
The Leechburg Dirt Devils prepare to take the field with some new equipment donated by the Pittsburgh Pirates Charities on April 27, 2019.
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Lou Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Malachi Keitzer (9) of the Leechburg Dirt Devils takes a swing with a new bat donated by the Pittsburgh Pirates Charities on April 27, 2019.
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Lou Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Kaden Masaoud (7), playing for the Leechburg Pirates, gets ready with a new glove donated by the Pittsburgh Pirates Charities on April 27, 2019.

Through Play Ball Pittsburgh!, a partnership between the Tull Family Foundation, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pitch In For Baseball & Softball, 16 organizations in a four-county area in the Pittsburgh Region recently received a donation of new baseball and softball equipment.

Included in that group were the Allegheny Valley Little League and Leechburg Little League.

“Every organization wants to do whatever it can to give its kids the best opportunity to play the game,” Leechburg Little League representative Raymond Varner said.

Varner said the Leechburg Little League received 25 fielding gloves, five catcher’s mitts, five sets of catcher’s gear, 25 batting helmets, 25 USA Baseball bats, 10 dozen baseballs, five team bags and two batting tees.

The Pirates hosted a distribution event April 9 at PNC Park, and each of the organizations took the equipment back to their home locations.

On April 24, the Leechburg players, in conjunction with the league’s picture day, picked out which piece or pieces of equipment met their needs for the start of the season.

“The equipment is theirs to keep,” Varner said. “It was special to see the smiles on the kids’ faces.”

The players then took the field Saturday on Opening Day at Gilpin Leechburg Park.

“You might see some kids who move up from one division to the next, and the bat they have is too short or the glove they have is too small,” Varner said. “It helps keep them with the proper gear to play baseball.”

Varner also said some players and their families might not be able to afford the proper equipment without the distribution program.

The process, Varner said, started when the organizations applied for the grant of equipment at mlb.com.

“Then we waited to see if we would be selected,” he said. “It was a great feeling. We wanted to give the kids in the community great equipment.”

The 16 organizations chosen represent more than 1,300 players across Allegheny, Westmoreland, Armstrong and Butler counties.

The equipment donated is valued at more than $50,000.

Over the past decade, Pitch In For Baseball and Softball has helped donate more than $9 million worth of equipment to more than 800,000 players in every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-856-7400 x8632, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Other Local
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