The Pirates organization held their annual “Bowling with the Bucs” on Sunday evening after the club’s 5-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Despite a tough day on the field, the players and coaches showed up to show their support of the fans. Joel Hanrahan and Chris Resop, along with the help of their wives, led the event.
Zac Weiss, an avid fan and PNC Park regular, was fortunate enough to attend Bowling with the Bucs, and answered a few of our questions regarding the event. Bowling with the Bucs, which costs $500 for a group of four or $150 as an individual, benefits Pirates Charities. Zac has attended three of the events since Bowling with the Bucs was formed by Jack Wilson in 2005. Although the event did not take place last season, it made a return for 2012.
A.J. Burnett, Rod Barajas, Michael McKenry, Erik Bedard, Yamaico Navarro and Gregg Ritchie did not attend Bowling with the Bucs, but the rest of the team did. Jeff Karstens and Chris Leroux showed up, even though they are both injured. The biggest surprise was former Pirate Joe Beimel, who came to support Hanrahan. One player or coach is assigned to a bowling lane, and after bowling with relief pitchers Tyler Yates in 2009 and Jack Taschner in 2010, Weiss had the opportunity to play with 1B/OF Garrett Jones.
Zac said, “While my scores weren’t great, I ended up beating him which was a good feeling. It was tough since we were the only two lefties in the lane, but Garrett was very engaging and so were Kevin Correia and Herbie Andrade who were in the lanes next to ours.”
Weiss added that, “Correia guaranteed that he would hit a home run against Stephen Strasburg. I asked him about Thursday and it took everything in me to not laugh in his face. I had to wait until he stepped up to bowl. I think he was serious, but for his sake, I really hope he was joking.” (You can read our post about this HERE.)
Zac also was acknowledged by Hanrahan, who recognizes him from PNC Park. Weiss, a season ticket holder, spends countless hours at the ballpark each homestand tracking down baseballs. Although ballhawks are not looked at in a positive light, Weiss handles it justly, as he gives baseballs to children and even donates to charity. He’s now in his second season of snagging for charity, and strives to donate more after collecting a solid $388 last season.
Zac states that, “This year’s initiative is called Ballhawking 2012 Proudly Supporting The Children’s Institute and people can contribute in a variety of ways. One way is pledging an amount of money for every baseball I catch, while this could be expensive to many, it all goes to charity. The second way is a one time donation. The third way to help out is by bidding on the various items I put up (for sale).”
Weiss is selling baseballs, signed items, and programs. Furthermore, not all of the memorabilia is Pirates related. He has sold a Kirk Gibson autographed baseball and is in the process of selling a baseball with the signature of Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Zac is fair with his prices, but he also wants to ensure that the Children’s Institute receives a proper donation.
Weiss believes that Bowling with the Bucs is worth the price of admission, even though it is a bit pricey. Although $150 is a lot of money to just bowl a few games, the event is much more than that. It is a great opportunity to hang out with some of the players and collect some autographs, and he definitely recommends it.
Zac is doing a great job in the community through his charity efforts, and works hard on a radio show as well. Please take a minute and check out his charity page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/ballhawking2012
It is not too late to donate and the Children’s Institute is a great cause.
You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can follow Zac on Twitter: @wewill1992 (Personal/Charity) and @AtoZSportsWPPJ (Radio/News/Opinions)
You can find his blog at http://wewill1992pirates.mlblogs.com/
Zac conducts a radio show once a week with his friend, Andrew Goldstein, during the school year. All of their videos can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/colstonone?ob=0.