STEUBENVILLE - Jim Emmerling remembers as a child enjoying family outings to Pittsburgh Pirates games and, as a father, bringing his own family to the games, and he hopes many families will join him for the upcoming Steubenville/Weirton Community Night with the Pirates hosted by the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times on June 28.
Emmerling is president and founder of Em-Media, one of several business sponsors for the annual event, which includes limited bus transportation to PNC Park, an Andrew McCutchen MVP bobblehead while supplies last, prizes and all-you-can-eat seating for the game between the Pirates and the New York Mets.
He said Em-Media, Trinity Health System and the Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley have been sponsors since the event began.
PIRATES?FANS — Keith Murdock, director of communications and development for Trinity Health System, left, and Jim Emmerling, president and founder of Em-Media, are dedicated Pittsburgh Pirates fans. Emmerling said he’s been to 19 games so far this season. Em-Media and Trinity are among the sponsors of the June 28 Steubenville-Weirton Community Night at PNC Park. --- Shae Dalrymple
"It's just a way to give back to the community, to make attending a Pirates game more affordable to families and other baseball fans," Emmerling said.
Other sponsors include Iron City Distributing, Choice Brands of Ohio and Wine and Beverage Merchants of West Virginia and the Fort Steuben Mall, according to Cindy Kotsch, director of marketing and special events for the newspapers.
The game begins at 4:05 p.m., and buses will leave the Herald-Star parking lot at 401 Herald Square, Steubenville, promptly at 1 p.m., according to Kotsch. Anyone riding buses is encouraged to arrive by 12:30 p.m. Five buses will transport those who have purchased a ticket that includes transportation, but people are welcome to drive themselves, she added.
Emmerling often can be found at the community night, as well as many other Pirates games, along with Dave Mathieu, vice president of marketing for the Health Plan, and Keith Murdock, director of communications and development for Trinity.
He joked that the three "have been Pirates fans since birth" and have attended games at home and away, including as far as San Francisco.
Emmerling said Murdock has "returned to the fold" after distancing himself from the team in recent years, concerned that his attendance brought "bad karma" to the Pirates.
On a more serious note, Emmerling said area families and baseball fans should take advantage of the opportunity to attend community night.
"It's a great ball park and a really nice evening," he said.
"It's the most economical way to attend a Pirates game," Murdock added. "The employees at the park always comment that there's no community night as good as the Steubenville-Weirton Community Night."
Patrons for the event will be seated in the all-you-can-eat section of the stadium. Food at the park includes hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, soda drinks, peanuts, pretzels, popcorn, ice cream sandwiches and more. The evening will include drawings for prizes between innings, including autographed items and Pirates promotional materials, added Kotsch.
Ticket prices are $70 for those who elect to take a bus, while those who drive themselves will pay $65. All tickets can be charged by phone or are available at the newspaper offices, located at 401 Herald Square. To purchase tickets, call (740) 283-4711 and ask for Diana Brown.