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Rookies ready to 'play ball'

Steelers' rookies gave up football for a few hours on Tuesday night and headed to PNC Park to watch the Pirates take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The rookie class headed to PNC Park to take in the Pirates game on Tuesday night.

"It's important to take your relationship outside of football," said Joshua Dobbs. "We are around football all day and love it, but you have to do stuff outside of football. This is great for us to come together and be a strong rookie class and continue to grow together."

The rookies got the red carpet treatment from their baseball counterparts, watching batting practice from the field before settling in to watch the game.

"It's awesome," said JuJu Smith-Schuster. "We are all rookies, a young group of guys. To see another professional team work in the city is good. Seeing them in the batting cages, putting the time in to get better is cool."

The PNC Park crowd gave the rookies a warm welcome, especially when T.J. Watt threw out the first pitch to his catcher, fellow rookie James Conner.

"I grew up playing baseball," said Watt. "My dad was my coach until eighth grade and that is when I stopped playing. It's a special night, a great atmosphere."

Conner, who threw out the first pitch for the Pirates on opening day in 2016, said he just wanted to see Watt outdo him.

"I know he won't bounce it like I did," said Conner. "I am excited to catch it from T.J. It will be a different experience."

The two nailed it, with Watt not having to worry about bouncing it.

"It was fun. It was really fun to have James right here by my side," said Watt. "We didn't have any practice, but I think we made it look like we've practicing for a while now. It turned out really good."

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