Steve Blass, Dick Groat, Tree of Life remembrance among plans for PNC Park 2019 opener |

Steve Blass, Dick Groat, Tree of Life remembrance among plans for PNC Park 2019 opener

Chris Adamski
The Pirates and the Braves stand at the baseline listening to the national anthem for the home opener Friday, April 7, 2017, at PNC Park.

Like all home openers, the first game of 2019 at PNC Park is not without its pregame pomp and circumstance.

The Pittsburgh Pirates begin their home schedule with a game Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals. But plenty will happen on the field in the 35 minutes leading to the scheduled 1:05 p.m. first pitch.

A pair of Pittsburgh sports legends, Steve Blass and Dick Groat, will be recognized. Blass is in his 60th season as part of the Pirates organization, and the former pitcher and 1971 World Series hero has announced this will be his final season as part of the franchise’s broadcast team.

Groat was part of the 1960 World Series-champion Pirates, the same year he won the National League Most Valuable Player award. Three weeks ago, Groat completed a 40-year tenure as the color commentator for Pitt basketball.

A current Pirates player also will be recognized on the field, and taking part in the brief ceremony will be a popular former Pirate. Andy Van Slyke will present Corey Dickerson with a Gold Glove in recognition of the award Dickerson won for his play in left field last season.

The National Anthem on Monday will be performed by a 6-year-old opera singer from Latrobe, Victory Brinker. “The Star Spangled Banner” will be performed after a giant American flag is unfurled by first responders involved in the Tree of Life Synagogue tragedy last October in Squirrel Hill.

Four Pittsburgh police officers will throw out simultaneous first pitches in remembrance of the victims of the Tree of Life shooting.

Also planned for Monday at the ballpark:

  • All fans will receive Pirates magnetic schedules
  • On-field roster introductions, emceed by longtime Pirates broadcaster Greg Brown

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Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Pirates
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