Pittsburgh Pirates

Future sluggers have a field day at Bradenton’s Pirate City

If smiling faces are an indication, Saturday’s Play Ball baseball clinic at Pirate City in Bradenton was a home run for more than 100 happy, youthful participants.

The Pittsburgh Pirates partnered with Major League Baseball to offer the free event at the team’s spring headquarters. Minor league players, coaches and staff provided instruction to youngsters ages 5 to 12.

The Play Ball program also is described as a collaborative initiative between MLB, USA Baseball and USA Softball.

Play Ball, according to the Pirates and MLB, is “designed to encourage widespread participation in all forms of baseball activities among all age groups, especially youth. The new program highlights the many ways baseball can be played, including outside of the traditionally organized baseball leagues and tournaments.”

Tom Alberts: 941745-7040, @alberts_tom