Amid virus pandemic, appreciative Pirates provide 400 pizzas to Pittsburgh-area hospital workers

The Pirates might not be in Pittsburgh yet, but their hearts are with the hospital workers who are providing care to those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, the players arranged a delivery of 400 pizzas to the staff at Allegheny General Hospital.

The pizzas, plus helpings of pasta, were delivered by Pirates staff members. The idea came up as players tossed around ways they could help on a text thread. Two city restaurants, Slice on Broadway at PNC Park and Pizzeria Davide in Pittsburgh's famed Strip District, converged to make the supply.

"We might not be in Pittsburgh, and we don't have the opportunity to play in front of our fans and for all of us to be up in the city that's kind of become a second home to us and that's treated us so well," Bucs pitcher Jameson Taillon told MLB.com. "We know local businesses are getting crushed, and they're really hurting, and they're really affected by what's going on. Then obviously, the hospitals and the staff working on the front lines there, they're putting in extra hours, extra work, exposing themselves.

"We thought this was a way to help. Two birds with one stone. We can help local restaurants. We can help the hospitals and the workers and show our appreciation."

Taillon said Pittsburgh's players will continue to look for ways to support local businesses and first responders.

"We're trying to be creative and just help out any way we can," Taillon said.

Hospital workers offered their thanks in photos posted by pitchers Joe Musgrove and Trevor Williams.

The Pirates might make a tradition of this. Taillon told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the club is also arranging to have coffee delivered to local firehouses.

"Obviously, now is a pressing time," he said, "but they're always an important part of our communities. We just wanted to let our city know we're with them through this."

Last week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all restaurants and bars to close their dine-in services. While the Pirates' efforts will clearly help health care workers, these Pittsburgh eateries will benefit as well during this trying time.