The "Winter Caravan" visited 20 communities in three days from Tuesday, Dec. 11 thru Thursday, Dec. 13. The Caravan made appearances in and around the greater Pittsburgh area and included stops as far away as Altoona, PA - home of the Pirates Double-A affiliate the Altoona Curve; Erie, PA; Charleston, WV - home of the Single-A West Virginia Power; and Jamestown, NY - home of the Pirates new short-season Single-A affiliate the Jamestown Jammers.
Among those who participated were 2012 Gold Glove Award winner and Silver Slugger Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Josh Harrison, Jared Hughes, Starling Marte, Michael McKenry, Bryan Morris, Alex Presley, Gaby Sanchez, Jose Tabata, Neil Walker and Justin Wilson. The players will be joined by manager Clint Hurdle and coaches Jeff Banister, Nick Leyva and Ray Searage.
The Caravan featured four separate groups of players and coaches traveling to separate events throughout the region and culminated with the 23rd annual PirateFest that took place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16.
The three-day caravan event featured private and public appearances by the players and coaches, along with Pirates broadcasters, front office officials, the Pirate Parrot and/or the Pirates Pierogies. At each public visit, the participants signed free autographs for fans, met with members of the media and discussed the excitement surrounding the 2013 Pirates season.