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Pirates employee found dead near PNC Park

Pittsburgh PiratesA Pittsburgh Pirates employee was found dead early Saturday morning — bleeding, face down on the pavement — after working the Friday night PNC Park Bucs game, in what police are calling a suspicious incident.

Michael Schacht, 58, had been an usher for the Pirates since 2004. He was found unresponsive and bleeding around a mile and a half from the ballpark, his car and wallet missing. Technically, the cause of death needs to be determined after toxicology tests, but police are treating this as a suspicious matter.

“We at the Pirates family are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of the senseless death of Michael Schacht, a dedicated PNC Park employee,” said Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting in a statement. “Our thoughts, hearts and prayers go out to Michael’s family and friends.”

The issue once again raises the issue of ballpark safety, coming a week after a Giants fan was severely beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot after the Los Angeles Dodgers season opener. While the two incidents were very clearly not related, they should have MLB folks asking themselves and their civic partners whether fans and employees are leaving the ballpark in the safest circumstances possible. It’s our experience top team employees don’t often have the same post-game experience as fans: they park inside the ballpark or in designated areas far from the madding crowd.

RELATED STORIES: Dodgers up security; will it be enough?; Giants fan severely beaten in Dodger Stadium parking lot; suspects sought


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