It’s one of those times when all you can do is smile as Steelers rookies met their newest fans on Tuesday at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital at their annual Steelers Kickoff Rally.
The infants were decked out in Steelers rookie onesies, football beanies and had Terrible Towels in the hospital nursery, while staff was decked out in their black and gold attire and excitement was in the air.
The players spent time visiting with newborn infants, and in some cases even holding them, and chatting with their parents, who have already adopted black and gold as favorite colors for their new additions.
“It’s great. It’s a marriage of two Pittsburgh institutions, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Magee Womens Hospital,” said Richard Beigi, President, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital of Pittsburgh. “We are thrilled to have their rookies come meet our rookies. It’s a time to drum up some positive energy around the Steelers and Magee’s connection.
“It’s nice to see the players around the babies. It reminds you no matter how big you are we all started out real small.”
There were smiles, tears and sleeping babies, exactly what you would expect when you are surrounded by newborn infants. And while some of the players were a little shy, most had no problem around the tiny fans.
Steelers' rookies visit UPMC Magee Womens Hospital welcoming the newest Steelers fans
“The first baby I held I was nervous, I was sweating, but I am good now,” said Devin Bush. “I am having more fun than I thought I would. You get to see the looks on the faces of families when you walk in their room. You meet the family, you meet the baby. It’s exciting to see them go through something like this. It’s such a joy for them to be happy, welcoming a new baby in the world. It’s fun because it’s our first year, it’s their first year. We are experiencing new things like the babies are.”
After leaving the nursery, the players went to rooms meeting other infants and families, while posing for pictures and handing out onesies and Terrible Towels which might not get waved for quite a few years.
“It feels good to put smiles on everyone’s faces. It’s a different experience,” said Justin Layne. “Seeing the babies in the Steelers stuff is funny. They are born into the Steelers family. They have yellow and black in their blood already.”
A few players even got to meet a set of twins, Mia and Maci Gilbert, and that was something they will always remember.
“They were very beautiful. Congratulations to them,” said Ulysees Gilbert, no relation mind you. “This is amazing. It’s a great experience. To see everyone happy to have a child is a great experience. The Steelers are truly a family. It’s nationwide. It feels good to be in the family environment.”