Results tagged ‘ bill mazeroski ’
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker had a live web chat for fans on Monday at 3 PM. Here are a few of the questions. You can read the entire chat transcript here.
You said you were “at a loss for words” after hitting your first Major League home run. Now that it’s been several months later, can you describe the feeling you had rounding the bases in front of your hometown crowd and family?
Neil Walker: Obviously, I was extremely elated after hitting my first home run at PNC Park. It has been my dream to put on a Pirates uniform since I was five years old, and to think back now on what was going through my head as I was rounding the bases, I was just sort of floating off the ground and nothing was even going through my head. The fact that we won and seeing how excited that my teammates were for me made it all the more enjoyable. But to be able to share that moment with the city of Pittsburgh was an extremely special moment for me.
Congrats on the amazing rookie season. What impact do you believe Clint Hurdle will have on the team this upcoming year?
Neil Walker: Speaking with Clint and knowing his background, I believe that he’ll bring strong character to this team and I’m very excited to get to work come this Spring Training. He has shown with his time in Colorado that he’s found a way to bring a team together and win baseball games on a regular basis. I believe he can do the same here in Pittsburgh.
Will you be working with Bill Mazeroski in Spring Training on turning the double plays at second base?
Neil Walker: Yes, I will get an opportunity to work with Maz this Spring Training. Every year, he comes down and works with the infielders and does a tremendous job. But more so, to hear him speak about his playing days, especially his World Series season, is something that I think all players cherish.
Do you do any offseason workouts?
Neil Walker: Yes, I have a workout schedule each week that consists of four days a week. Lifting weights, hitting, cardio, are all things that I focus on during the offseason, as well as rest and relaxation.
“We thought it was only fitting to premiere this here in Pittsburgh.” Bob Costas said during his opening remarks. Fitting it was. Over 1,000 people were in attendance at the Byham Theatre in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday night to witness history. Never before has game seven of the 1960 World Series been seen since it’s original broadcast.
Former players who were at the event were: Joe Christopher, Elroy Face, Bob Friend, Dick Groat, Vernon Law, Bob Oldis, Hal Smith and Bill Virdon. Vera Clemente was also in attendance as well as Members of Bing Crosby’s family, Michael Keaton, Pirates broadcaster John Wehner, President Frank Coonelly and Owner Bob Nutting. Bill Mazeroski was unable to attend, he was in the hospital with Kidney stones.
The copy of game seven was found in the late Bing Crosby’s wine cellar earlier this year. Crosby was very superstitious and was in Paris the night of the game and had someone record the game for him (Not until the 1970′s were historic games filmed and saved).The film was recorded in Black and white and had very little use of graphics. There was also no commercials. There were no advertisement’s being shown or even discussed. It was a pure, beautiful game –called by Bob Prince and Mel Allen. The game lasted just over two hours. “The good part of this game, Bob Costas said. “You don’t have guys stepping out of the box every two seconds.”
The host –Bob Costas– recalls game seven of the world series and even said “That was the first time I remember being heartbroken. Costas –who grew up in New York– missed school to watch the game at home. His Mother told him to get to the bus stop and he told her, “I’ll go to the bus stop, but then I’m coming right back home.” His parents finally allowed him to miss school, his dad saying that he will remember this game a lot longer than that one day in class. (I’d say he did just fine).
The film was shown and periodically was stopped for Costas to ask the players questions and reactions to what had just happened.
“I don’t have a clue”, Bill Virdon said to Costas on if he remembered exactly the pitch by pitch of his two-RBI double in the second inning.
Vernon law was asked how he pitched to Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle: “Inside. Don’t throw a strike. In on their hands.”
Dick Groat said, Mantle’s grounder up the middle that he missed “still haunts him to this day.”
Michael Keaton –who grew up in Pittsburgh– flew across country to be at the event. “This to me is art. Watching him run. It’s just something, man.” On watching Roberto Clemente play.
Hal Smith’s three-run home run in the eighth inning (which during the film, Mel Allen says is one of the most historic home runs in World series history and will never be forgotten –ironic?) happened so fast he didn’t know what happened. “I didn’t realize what happened until I was rounding second. I thought, ‘What have I done?” He remembers Clemente picking him up on his shoulders and was, “absolutely overwhelmed”.
The crowd cheered and booed at the appropriate times and even started chants throughout the film. The crowd also gave Vera Clemente a standing ovation after she was introduced. Still to this day, Vera feels his presence. She talked about how much Roberto meant to her and how much he truly loved Pittsburgh. “He told me that if the Pirates traded him he would quit [baseball].”
“It was really something we all wanted to see,” Bob Friend said. “It’s one of the greatest games ever played in the history of baseball.”
And now, everyone at home will get the opportunity to witness it as well. The film will be aired on MLBNetwork, December 15th at 8 PM ET (Maz –who was sick– will be interviewed at a later time and worked into the film). The post game interviews by Mel Allen (which were absolutely hilarious) will also be included during the event along with 60 minutes of additional footage. MLBNetowk will also release a two-DVD set on December 14th by MLB Productions.
Dick Groat said it perfectly. “The 1960 Pirates’ were a team of destiny.”
I asked Elroy Face why he wasn’t smiling and was acting so serious. He said, “I didn’t see you standing there. I am now!”
Pirates Players of the 1960 Bucs take pictures on the red carpet.
The view from my seat in the beatuiful Byham Theatre in Downtown Pittsburgh.
My ticket from attending the event.
My media pass from MLB Network. It was a remarkable night.
On November 13th at 6:00 p.m. at the Byham Theatre in Pittsburgh, the copy of game seven of the 1960′s world series will be unveiled.
The copy was found in the late Bing Cosby’s wine cellar and will be shown on MLB Network later this year.
Bob Costas and MLB Network will host the viewing and the guest include: Bill Mazeroski, Dick Groat and Bobby Richardson.
There is a limited number of tickets available to the public and for fans interested in attending should email Game7onMLBN@mlb.com.
During Wednesday’s tribute to Maz and the 1960 Bucs I had the honor and privilege to hear some amazing stories from fans who were at game seven of the world series. 50 years later they are still celebrating the great feat and sharing where they were when Mazeroski hit that historic home run.
But one story in particular was very special. George Boyle was not only at game seven, he also caught the home run at 3:36 on film.
Boyle was shooting news film for KDKA-TV and a lot of his assignments included Pirates game coverage.
When tickets for the series went on sale, they were on a lottery basis. The general public had to send in a check or money order to the Pirates’ and then they would have a drawing to select who would receive the tickets. Boyle sent in his check and a few days later received two tickets in the mail. The tickets were for game seven.
His friends laughed at the thought the Pirates would ever make it that far against the mighty Yankees. Everyone told him that his tickets were useless. But it sure didn’t dampen his enthusiasm. Boyle told his news directors that, “If the series went to the full seven games, I wasn’t going to work. Instead, I intended to take my wife to the ball game and be a regular spectator.” His news director laughed and said, “Oh sure, you do that,” and dismissed the subject.
Game seven, as you know, did happen, and Boyle reminded his news director on the night before that he intended to take his wife to the ball game. He insisted on giving him a handful of special passes (Locker room, field, press box, etc.). His news director also insisted he take his camera along, “in case the Pirates pulled off a miracle win” in which he was to film it.
It was there, from Section one row A –the from row in right field– that Boyle caught the magic moment all on film.
Without a tripod, he was able to hold the camera steady enough to film. After Yankees shortstop Tony Kubec was hit in the throat after the ball took a unfortunate bounce, Boyle started filming the footage of the emergency activity taking place on the field. He continued filming every pitch.
Everyone knows the outcome of the game. Mazeroski is at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning, Pirates and Yankees are tied at nine. The 1-0 pitch sailed over the left-center field scoreboard at 3:36 PM winning the World Series in dramatic fashion.
Once the ball cleared the scoreboard, Boyle’s wife lost all control. During her excitement she began beating him on his back with both fists screaming “We did it, we did it!” With his emotions running wild and the beating on his back, Boyle was trying to follow Maz running around the bases on film.
Boyle said he had “extreme-close ups” from the moment the Yankees’ pitcher began his windup to Mazeroski’s historic run around the bases.
When people first viewed his film, they accused him of being drunk since the film was shaky.
Immediately following the game, Boyle hurried out of the stadium to find a taxi. He gave the driver a $20 tip to give the film to the station so that it could be processed in time for the evening news.
Other footage eventually replaced his film but Boyle’s was the first to hit the air. An incredible story that he says he “still laughs each time I remember that day.”
Here is a photo of Boyle holding the camera he used to film game seven of the 1960 World Series. It used 16 mm movie film, which he said, “It was standard in the industry at the time.”
*A special thanks to George Boyle for the interview and wonderful story I will never forget.
On Wednesday afternoon, while unveiling a plaque dedicated to Bill Mazeroski, President Frank Coonelly made some interesting comments according to Jenifer Langosch.
“The 1960 team left an indelible mark on the city and left an indelible legacy for this city. It was a great Championship. The Pirates were an underdog team that beat the mighty Yankees.
“One reason that these men are so special to you is because in 1960, there hadn’t been a Championship in Pittsburgh in 35 years. The Pirates hadn’t won the World Series since 1925. When 1960 came around, this city was hungry for a Championship organization and a Championship team again. These gentlemen brought it to you and they really started the great legacy of the Pittsburgh Pirates that continued on to the 1970s.
“I mention that 35 years for a reason. Last year, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the 1979 Championship, our last Championship. Now we’re 31 and we’re counting. I don’t intend for this young team that we’re building in Pittsburgh today to hit 35. I intend to beat that record of 35, and we’re going to get there before we hit the 35th anniversary.
“In that regard, quite a few members of the media are here and this will be a popular comment that I just made on the fly. I’ve been through that a few times already.”
Bold predictions by Coonelly, perhaps but like I have been saying, I expect (as long as the players continue to progress through the minors and the Pirates’ organization continue to build through the draft) that 2013 and 2014 could be great years for the 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!
If you missed the Ceremony for Bill Mazeroski, don’t be upset. I recorded the unveiling of the statue and speeches and also the tribute the Pirates played on the jumbo tron.
You can check it all out here on my youtube page.
It was a beautiful ceremony and i loved every minute of it. I got the oppurtunity to meet Maz this year at Piratefest and he is so very humble for everything he has achieved in his life.
The event took place on his 74th birthday and he was surrounded by his friends, family and teammates of the 1960 team.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote a great article about the event. You can read it here.
Here are some of the pictures I took:
The Maz statue “before” the ceremony all covered up.
Maz walking hand-in-hand with his grandson.
Friends, family and his 1960 teammates did the honors by unveiling the statue to Maz and his wife.
After the statue unveiling, Maz and his wife circled the field in a 1960′s Bentley. The Pirates also did a beautiful tribute on the jumbotron.
Maz threw out the first pitch to current second-baseman Neil Walker.
Maz and Walker.
After the first pitch, Maz walked down the dugout and shook hands with all the players. Here with Pedro Alvarez.
And here with Joel Hanrahan.