Former Pirate Andrew McCutchen continues to give back to Pittsburgh community
Andrew McCutchen no longer plays for the Pirates, but he still calls Pittsburgh home. He said that won’t change.
Part of the reason McCutchen has continued to live in Pittsburgh during baseball’s offseason is because his wife, Maria, is from DuBois.
“We decided before we got married that we would always be around family, whether it was her family or mine,” said the five-time All-Star outfielder, who grew up in Fort Meade, Fla. “We felt Pittsburgh was the place to be. It’s a great city. The people have treated us great, and it’s just a really good place to raise a family. We’re always going to be here. We have a relationship with the community.”
McCutchen also wants to always immerse himself as part of the community. That is why he was at Macy’s department store at South Hills Village in Upper St. Clair bright and early Saturday morning.
McCutchen was there as part of his Project Pittsburgh charity for High School Development Day.
For two hours prior to the store opening to the public, a group of 16 seniors from Milliones Pittsburgh Prep were able to pick out clothing to wear for postgraduate internships and job interviews. Interview and resume coaching also were provided to the students from volunteer human resources and control managers.
McCutchen seemed to be enjoying himself as much as the students while serving as a de facto fashion consultant as they tried on clothing.
“I always get fired up around kids,” McCutchen said with a smile. “To be able to connect with them is very special.”
Saturday’s event began Cutch Week in which McCutchen, Project Pittsburgh and volunteers will take part in a variety of charitable events that include feeding the hungry, visiting hospital patients, reading to children at libraries, working on building houses for low-income families and conducting a youth baseball clinic.
“I was in a position growing up where I couldn’t just to go the store and just get what I wanted,” McCutchen said. “I had to borrow a lot. So to be in this position to help this group of kids, it goes a long way because it would have been something where I would have been so happy to be randomly selected to have somebody buy me clothing or something. To be able to now be in position to do this is just awesome.”
Professional and family reasons prevented McCutchen from participating in many charitable endeavors the past two offseasons.
He was traded to the San Francisco Giants in January 2017 after spending the first nine seasons of his career with the Pirates. After playing the last month of the 2017 season with the New York Yankees after a trade, McCutchen signed a three-year, $50-million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent last December.
McCutchen was limited to 59 games this year, suffering a season-ending torn ACL in his left knee June 3 in a game at San Diego. He batted .256 with 10 home runs.
Though he is walking with a slight limp, McCutchen has suffered no setbacks in his recovery and expects to be ready to fully participate when spring training begins in February. He had been on the injured list only one other time in his career, missing the minimum 15 days with a broken left rib in 2014.
“It was really hard (missing a large portion of the season), but the way my brain works, I am usually looking at things from a different perspective,” McCutchen said. “There were so many times I tried to sit back and cry about it, but I just couldn’t let myself do it.
“I knew I had to stay positive, concentrate on my rehab and come back strong. I feel great. I’ve started doing more high-intensity training, started swinging the bat a few days ago, and I’m excited about next season.”
John Perrotto is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.