New Castle News

Sports

August 19, 2011

Augustine to throw out first pitch tonight at Pirates game

NEW CASTLE — Interested in placing an order today at Augustine’s Pizza? Customers will be greeted with a strange site.

A “Closed” sign.

The pizza shop on 833 E. Lutton St. will be shut down for the business day while owner Frank R. Augustine throws out the first pitch at tonight’s Cincinnati Reds-Pittsburgh Pirates game at PNC Park. It’s a free shirt Friday promotion at the park as well, with Andrew McCutchen’s picture gracing the shirt.

“I’m so thrilled about it,” Augustine said of throwing out the first pitch. “I’m a longtime Pirates fan, and this is just amazing.

“We’re taking everybody with us. Employees, friends, family. We’re going to make a whole day of it, and it’s going to be a blast. This is a great promotion for the city of New Castle, our employees, friends and family.”

Augustine’s son, Frank J., gets a lot of the credit from his dad for today’s special event.

“He’s done all the sales and all the contacts with the Pirates organization,” Augustine said. “Without him, none of this would be possible.”

This is the first season Augustine’s Pizza is being sold at PNC Park.

“It’s going really well,” Augustine said of the sales. “We’re very happy to be involved with ARAMARK Food Services. They do a great job making the pizzas, and we’re happy to be involved with Pirates baseball.”

Augustine’s has an ad in the game program as well as on the radio.

He has been getting in some work in preparation for his first appearance on the field at PNC Park.

“I’m real nervous. I’ve practiced twice actually,” he said. “I’m going to let one go. I’m not going to throw a changeup. I’m going out there to throw a fastball.”

Despite Pittsburgh’s recent struggles, he sees bright spots in the organization. Noting the Pirates spent a major league record $17 million to sign 24 draft picks this year.

“It’s impressive to see them putting the money into the team like they are,” Augustine said. “They made a couple of trades at the deadline and poured money into the draft; it’s great.”

Augustine said he’s had season tickets to Pirates games for about 15 years, and he’s been to about 20 games this year.

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