Pittsburgh honors Maz and 1960 Bucs
For most, October 13th at 3:36 p.m. may not sound special, but believe me it is. Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of the 1960 World Series in which the Bucs defeated the Yankees in game seven with a walk-off home run by Bill Mazeroski –which arguably is one of the greatest World Series moments in major league history.
And yet, 50 years later, the city of Pittsburgh continues to honor this very special day. For the past 15 years, Maz and the members of the 1960 World Series team are honored on the anniversary of this remarkable feat at Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.
Several thousand fans gathered at the spot where Forbes Field used to be (The outfield wall, home plate and mark where Maz’s ball left the park are all still there) to celebrate game seven.
Vern Law, Bob Friend, Bill Virdon, Dick Groat, Hal Smith, Joe Gibbon, George Witt, Bob Oldis, and Joe Christopher were all in attendance. President Frank Coonelly and Steve Blass were there as well as Vera, wife of the late Roberto Clemente, and son Luis.
“This is just unbelievable, unbelievable,” Hal Smith told the AP on Wednesday. “We never dreamed of anything like this back then.”
After the 1960 team lineups were announced, fans listened as game seven was played at the exact time the game started and finished. Fans cheered, cried and booed while relieving the wonderful moments that happened 50 years ago. They even sang “take me out to the ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. When it was time for Maz to step up to the plate it was dead silent. The 1-0 pitch…Here’s the swing and it’s a high fly ball going deep to left..did they do it? Back to the wall goes Berra and it is over the fence. The Pirates win!” Once you heard the crack of the bat the thousands of fans were jumping and screaming and celebrating Maz’s game winning home run. Confetti was thrown and signs were held, an incredible moment that I felt I was a part of.
“It was a monumental home run,” reliever Roy Face said.
“I just thought it was a hit to win a ballgame and would be forgotten about next year when we started it all over again,” Mazeroski said. “Here we are 50 years later still talking about it.”
I was honored to meet so many fans who told me great stories of what it was like to be at game seven. For those who say baseball is dead in the steel city, it was very much alive on Wednesday afternoon.
Maz as well as players from the 1960 Bucs.
A fan holding up the 50-year old paper from the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette ”Bucs are the Champs”
I love this. Framed are the rosters of both the Pirates and Yankees from 1960 along with all the signatures of the players and the ticket stubs from the World Series.
The model of Forbes field.
Touching home plate.
The words speak for them self. The plaque marks the spot where Maz’s ball went over the left-center field fence.
One fan had a seat from Forbes field with him. He was a fourth generation Pirates’ family, and the chair made its way to him. It was believed to be from the right field seats in the 28th row. It was re-painted –the original seats were green– and was still in one piece. That’s pretty unbelievable.
MLB Network was at the event and will be airing the full broadcast of game seven on December 15th. The Network will be in Pittsburgh this November for the filming and showing at a local theater. Bob Costas as well as many players will be in attendance for this event. Tickets will be available for fans and as soon as more info is announced I will be sure to let you know.
Until then…Beat em’ Bucs!