By John Syms, Part-Time Staff Writer
The Saint Vincent College (SVC) Department of Communication visited and got a behind-the-scenes tour at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ baseball stadium on March 21. The stadium, PNC Park, is consistently ranked by many news outlets as one of the best baseball stadiums in America. Samantha Sluger, a 2018 SVC graduate with a bachelor’s in communication, organized this event to happen. Sluger currently works for the Pirates as a manager for customer services and tours.
Fifteen students and two communication department professors got the chance to visit the entire stadium and saw the dugouts, press booth, clubhouses, and stadiums during their tour. Their tour guide, Ron, was very knowledgeable of the history and facts about the stadium and the team. He said he was around to see Jackie Robinson play baseball at the Pirates’ old stadium, Forbes Field, in the 1950s.
Dr. Farrington and Mr. Safin thought about letting students from the communication department have the opportunity to take a visit to PNC Park.
“Me and Mr. Safin both knew that Samantha Sluger worked at the Pirates’ Stadium, and last fall Safin said we should think about doing a tour or having her (Sluger) do a tour,” Dr. Farrington said. “So, I contacted Samantha and we found a date that would work, and she set up the tour on her end and I helped figure out the rides to the stadium.” While some individuals got a ride from Dr. Farrington, others had to drive to Pittsburgh from SVC (or hitch a ride from another student).
The students and professors had a great time visiting the stadium, according to Dr. Farrington.
“What I heard from students is that people had a really good time, and it was interesting to learn about PNC Park, and it was also interesting to hear information from Samantha,” she said.
Dwight Collins, senior business management and communication major, said that he loved the visit to PNC Park, along with the rest of the students who had the opportunity to go and see Pirates Stadium.
“The trip was great! I was really excited to see the behind-the-scenes of PNC Park. I really enjoyed listening to Ron. He was really passionate about the history of the Pirates organization, and I felt like a true Pirates fan, since the behind-the-scenes tour,” Collins said.
This was not Dwight’s first time he ever visited the stadium, as he attended a Pirates game last May. He plans on coming back to SVC to get his master’s degree and plans on playing a fifth year of football.
“After my masters, it would be a dream to be a part of a management staff in the NFL or NBA. I’m not against the MLB, but their season is always during the summertime, and I want to have kids one day. So, that would be a conflict.”
The communication department does plan on doing more trips similar to the PNC Park tour. “There are a lot of opportunities to connect our students, whether it’s a PR (Public Relations) person or somebody that works for a sports team, I think that there is an opportunity,” Dr. Farrington said.
More trips and activities are to be announced. Students who went on the tour will never forget their chance to see the best stadium in America.