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Wishing Well Blog

Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day 2016

Pirates Home Opener 2016
Spring is officially here and Pittsburgh is getting back in the swing of things! (Even if the Burgh’s weather hasn’t quite caught on yet.) It’s the time of year when birds and baseballs fly, raising the city’s spirits with the Jolly Roger. Today, Make-A-Wish® is celebrating the Buc’s home opener, along with the first game of the 2016 Major League Baseball season, with a look back on a few homerun wishes from last season.

Cameron’s dreams fly high in the outfield

Cutch and Cameron
Where homeruns and dreams fly sky-high, this Altoona, PA, wish kid had the time of his life. Last year, 12-year-old Cameron, who is diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, received his wish to be batboy for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He arrived to the ballpark in style as his helicopter tour of the Burgh took a surprising turn to PNC Park’s center field; waiting for him was the all-star player himself, Andrew McCutchen. Cameron was recognized as the “Fan of the Game” during an on-field ceremony, served as an honorary batboy, delivered the lineup card to the umpires and then watched the rest of the game from a luxury suite. The game ended with not just another victory for the Buccos, but a fun home-run for Cameron. Read Cameron’s full wish story here!

Owen keeps on swinging

Owen stretching with McCutchen
Last spring, seven-year-old Owen from Everett, PA, followed the Bucs to Bradenton, FL, for his spring training wish. Although Owen is diagnosed with a congenital heart disorder, it does not stop him from having a ball while playing his favorite sport. Owen received an official uniform, accompanied the team to their pre-game workout routine and stretched alongside his idol, Andrew McCutchen. Before the game began, the team huddled around Owen, all putting a hand in for their newfound teammate.
Read Owen’s full wish story here!

Blaise finds his field of dreams

Blaise in the Pirates' team huddle
Nine-year-old Blaise, from Beaver, PA, has never missed a Bucco game; he memorizes hits, runs, errors and averages. He even plays center field, just like his hero, Andrew McCutchen. After being diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Blaise had his wish granted last spring to play ball with the big hitters and Pirates’ City called him for practice in Bradenton, FL. He got a tour of his new digs, a locker all of his own, an official uniform and threw out the first pitch. It was there that he found a
mound of hope in his field of dreams! Read Blaise’s full wish story here!

It is no wonder why wish kids love baseball – and the Buccos! A wish experience is all about finding a diamond in the rough, just like the one on the ball field. Wish kids know best – when life throws you curve balls, you just keep on swinging.

Good luck to the Bucs in their upcoming season! Be on the lookout for more out-of-the-park wishes this season. In the meantime, feel free to check out some throwback Pirates wishes here:
Spring Break with the Buccos -- Rocco's wish
Back at the Ballpark with the Cutch -- Johnathan's wish

About this Blog

This blog brings Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia to you -- sharing first-person stories of the Make-A-Wish experience and the impact of a wish from the perspectives of wish families, volunteers and staff. This blog highlights wishes come true and the special people in Pennsylvania and West Virginia that help create life-changing experiences for every eligible child.

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Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Inc.
The Gulf Tower
707 Grant Street, 37th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1938
(412) 471-9474
Toll Free (800) 676-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Southern West Virginia Office
888 Oakwood Rd
Oakwood Center, Suite 330
Charleston, WV 25314
(304) 342-9474
Toll Free (800) 664-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Northern West Virginia Office
913 Canyon Road
Morgantown, WV 26508
(304) 292-5600
Toll Free (888) 808-9474