Pirates Care-A-Van Visits Altoona

Pirates Care-A-Van Visits Altoona

Ball Players stop at medical center.
ALTOONA , BLAIR COUNTY -  A group of special visitors stopped by the Van Zandt Medical Center in Altoona on Thursday. Several members of the Pittsburgh Pirates visited the Veteran's medical center to talk baseball and spread a little holiday cheer as part of the team's Care-A-Van program.
For three days, members of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization are traveling all over Western Pennsylvania as representatives of the Pirates charities and the baseball team.  One their big stops was in Altoona Thursday morning.
A community room at the Van Zandt  Veteran's Administration  medical center was  filled with  hospital patients and visitors  on this Thursday morning.  The opportunity to spend time meeting and greeting  several members of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization  was an event not to be missed for many.

Among the payers making an appearance in Altoona was infielder Josh Harrison.  The former member of the Altoona Curve said he welcomed the chance to meet with the veterans and their supporters and to bring a little bit of pirate excitement to this community.
"Oh it is very important,   you know we play in Pittsburgh.   But you have fans outside of the city.   And for us to go to these neighboring cities where they support us,   you know day in and day out it definitely goes a long way cause it is something that they never would expect for any body to come from Pittsburgh,  you know we enjoy doing it."

Making the stop in Altoona were other former Curve players and current Pittsburgh Pirates   including Catcher Tony Sanchez and Pitcher Tony Watson,   First base Coach Rick Sofield  and the Pirate Parrot were also on hand to  meet the fans and show their appreciation for the support the team receives in this part of the state.
Gift bags were distributed and baseball fans had the opportunity to get some insight into the coming baseball season.   And for the ballplayers making the trip, the opportunity  to show their appreciation for these former members of the military  now being treated at the Van Zandt medical center, was a big part of the event.

"Oh man its exciting, its an experience.   We surprised a lot of them,    they didn't know we were coming and to see their faces light up , it definitely makes you feel   good and know that  you made an impact." 

While visiting various communities including Altoona, team representatives were stopping by a wide range of community centers and projects  that  try  improve  their home communities with the help of the Pittsburgh Pirate charities. 

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