Vincentian Recreation Complex
By Randy Staggers
McCandless Athletic Association
The McCandless Athletic Association (McAA) provides baseball and softball team play for ages four through 20. The Vincentian Complex is our home and provides a great opportunity for players of all abilities, from recreation to tournament and travel ball. It has seven fields in a range of sizes appropriate for each age group. It also has two concession stands and fully plumbed bathrooms.
My personal story starts in 1966 when I started playing baseball in McAA and my dad was one of the original board members on the articles of incorporation in the same year. At that time my dad and the rest of the board had to scrounge all over North Hills to find fields for our games. Sometimes they were at schools or in North Park, but none of them were maintained. We played with large ruts through the infield, uncut grass in the outfields, and certainly no concessions stands or bathrooms. However, it still fulfilled the love of baseball we all had in our youth. I went on to play baseball through college and still maintain close friendships with many of my fellow teammates from those days playing at McAA from the time I was seven to 17 years old.
I moved away from Pittsburgh as an adult for about 14 years and returned with a young son. When he turned four we joined McAA for him to play tee-ball. I was overwhelmed with the Vincentian Complex – it even has concessions and dugouts for tee-ballers! My son became an accomplished player and we travel all over the area for games and tournaments. The Vincentian Complex compares favorably to most of the places we play. We host our fair share of tournaments there as well, and each time we receive complements from the visiting teams.
Having Vincentian allows us the opportunity to maintain the fields and grounds in terrific condition and is an overwhelming improvement to the quality of play. The fields are utilized every day throughout our spring and fall season and provide a tremendous sense of team-building and friendships for our youth and a true sense of community for our adults.
Lots of things have to come together: Keystone Fund grants, help from McCandless Township, Pirates Charities, the lease from the Sisters of Vincentian, and the parents who dedicate time to building new dugouts and maintaining the fields and buildings. The Vincentian Complex provides the opportunity for positive lifelong memories for the youth in our community.