Pirates star Andrew McCutchen isn't just a hero in the city of Pittsburgh these days, he's also a hero to a youth softball team near this hometown of Fort Meade, Fla.
The Mulberry Lady Panthers, a team of 12-year-olds in Mulberry, Fla., raised $2,000 for new uniforms last year. The team placed its order with a uniform company in Maryland last December, but the uniforms never came, according to a story that aired last month from WTFS-TV in Tampa.
When McCutchen heard about what happened to the 12 year olds, he worked with Nike to get the girls new uniforms to replace the ones but never received. Cutch signed off on the order this week, and the Lady Panthers should have their new unis in the next two weeks we're told.
McCutchen told Big League Stew in a statement:
"I was once in that position as a kid who had to find ways financially to be able to play baseball. These girls worked hard to raise what they needed, and then it was swept out from under them. Hopefully they can recover their money from that company, but I contacted my rep at Nike and we decided we were going to take care of their uniforms. It's the right thing to do. These girls are supposed to be on a field having fun, not worrying about if they can play or not because they don't have uniforms.
"This is where I grew up. My hometown is just down the road from them. One of these girls attended my clinic in Fort Meade last year. It's hard to hear of a story like this happening to anyone, and this one really hit home."
You can be sure that in Wednesday night's NLDS Game 5, there will be some extra folks in Mulberry, Fla., pulling for McCutchen and the Pirates.