No dissrespect to Bobby Thompson, but the Giants won the pennant.
In 1960 Bill Mazeroski led the Pirates to win the World Series.
One minute later the Pittsburgh sports scene would be changed forever.
Mazeroski’s swing of the bat lifted the ball over Yogi Berra’s head sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Seeing Maz fly around the bases, swinging his helmet around in elation is truly a sight to be hold.
A Wheeling, West Virginia native (another reason why I love him so much) Mazeroski came from humble beginnings along the Ohio River. He said he played the game with the same attitude as he did growing up.
How can you not love that attitude?
As he was flying around the bases Mazeroski is quoted as saying he never felt his feet touch the ground. He was mobbed at homeplate by teammates and fans alike in one of the greatest moments in all of sports.
Whats more remarkable is the Pirates and Yankees were in a David vs. Goalith type battle back then. Much like today, New York was favored to take the series with its star studded lineup that included the likes of Berra, Mickey Mantle, Roger Marris and eventual MVP of the series Bobby Richardson.
Mazeroski was never known as a power hitter. He rarely hit double digit home runs in a season. He was known for his glove with eight Gold Glove awards and still owns the highest fielding percentage among second basemen.
Although Pittsburgh is in the midst of 18 straight losing seasons, the Steel City has not forgotten its icons. Across the town Mazeroski’s memory lives on, particularly in the Oakland section of town.
Oakland is home to the University of Pittsburgh, which I despise. The campus does offer one of the most beuatiful sections in all of Western, Pennsylvania, though.
Portions of the outfield wall still stand where Forbes Field was located.
This summer, I toured the old stomping grounds of the Bucs with my good friend Erin, who happens to be a Pitt student. I don’t hate her too much.
She loves the Pirates just as much as I do and we share memories that I have never before been able to extend to others. They just wouldn’t appreciate it.
She showed me the wall and other historic artifacts.
Forbes Field wall
Plaque commemorating that spot at which Mazeroski’s homerun cleared the wall.
Forbes Field home plate in its exact location, well almost. It is in the hallway of a Pitt campus building, moved there from just three feet away. If it was in its rightful spot it would be in the women’s restroom. A tourist spot to some maybe? But, the plate deserves to be seen by all
One of the most famous Pittsburgh photos this captures the celebratory moment when Maz was rounding the bases. Shot from the roof of Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning it provided a stunning view of the field and still today, downtown Pittsburgh.
Walking through the WVU student unio I sat down to eat lunch in front of the TV that shows ESPN. Bob Ley of Outside the Lines interviewed a Yankees historian, Steve Blass and Tim Kurkjian regarding the legacy Mazeroski possessed. Highlights of the game were shown and Mazeroski himself spoke.
The guy sitting next to me eventually moved as I was tearing up.
I wasn’t the only one.
Thousands of fan convene on that spot this day every year to relieve the precious memories Mazeroski left behind for us. They play the radio broadcast of Game 7 and embrace each other with thoughts of yesteryear.
Game 7 drew national a couple weeks ago as the tape was found in who else, but Bing Crosby’s wince cellar. Who woulda thunk it?
This was a game that will forever be etched in the minds of baseball fans everywhere.
It is all thanks to the best man in all of sports, Bill Mazeroski.
In a somewhat sarcastic way I proclaimed on October 5th that the Reds would not get a hit throughthe NLDS against the Philies.
There was not a better way to script the opening day of the postseason than the first playoff no hitter since Don Larsen’s perfect game in 1962.
So close to a perfect game too. Unbelievable. And to do it twice in one year simply baffles me. Just imagine if Roy Halladay happened to be out of Toronto for more of his career. He could possibly be one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball history. He still has a lot of gas in the tank and judging by this season alone he has punched his ticket to Cooperstown. A first ballot hall of famer in my book.
One game that may hold him out could very well be May 18, 2010.
He lost to the Pirates.
Zach Duke went toe-to-toe with the Philadelphia ace in a 2-1 ballgame where both pitchers
went the complete game. It was one of the most precise games the Pirates put together in 2010 and the best contest of Duke’s wretched year.
As I type this the game in Minnesota is going swimmingly well for the Twins. Something to say that I am pleased to see. Francisco Liriano is pitching masterfully.
Pitching has been a common theme when discussing the highs of the 2010 MLB season. So far it looks like the playoffs are going to be no exception. Cliff Lee shut down the Rays this afternoon. Halladay had a freaking no hitter. Liriano is coasting right now.
Tomorrow presents a new day with two similiar teams pinned against each other. It is sure to be anothers pitchers duel as Tim Lincecum faces Derek Lowe.
When it comes to picking a team to root for in the postseason, it hasn’t been the easiest thing. Last year I chose the Dodgers because of my good blogging friends Emma and Cat were so very kind to me. This season is a bit trickier, but not really. I am sticking with the NL West theme and will be adorning the orange and black.
I’ve always liked the logo and color scheme. The city is one of a kind. The ballpark blew me away. Besides those intangibles the Giants also offer something special for the playoff run, one of my favorite players of all time.
His time in Pittsburgh was headlined by a batting title in 2006 but what may have been overshadowed was his hospitality. Sanchez is a class act and was always a fan favorite. His work ethic and gritty glove work is topped only by his consistent bat. He is finally overcoming injuries that have haunted his whole career and he is showing he belongs in an everday lineup, especially on a contending team.
Nobody deserves the honor of winning games in the post season than Freddy Sanchez.
photos: ap, yahoo.com
The Buccos defeated the Yanks 12-7 on Tuesday, but most impressive was what was done in the first inning.
Andrew McCutchen got things started with a single.
Ronny Cedeno…a single also.
Lastings Milledge brought home McCutchen with a double.
Then this guy…
Jones blasted a three run homer off none other than CC Sabathia. Sabathia got rocked in two innings pitched giving up seven hits and five earned runs.
It was nice to see us do some damage against Sabathia. The Pirates totaled 15 hits against NY, the most of the spring. It wa salso nice to out hit a team for a change also, the Yanks recorded just eight.
Charlie Morton, anticiapted fourth starter, had a decent outing with a three inning showing on four hit ball. He did give up three runs, but struck out a pair.
By the way, that Garrett Jones picture, photo shopped by yours truly. I got the program for my brithday and have been playing around with it.
Tomorrow it is Pittsburgh-Baltimore live on FSN Pittsburgh.
photo credits: nytimes.com, espn.com
For the first time this spring the Buccos held their first split squad games. Both teams were in action today against the Yankees and Rays.
New York and Tampa Bay both defeated the pair of Pittsburgh teams.
The Yanks shut out the Pirates 6-0. Steve Pearce recorded the only hit of the contest for the Bucs, a single.
In 2007 after just one season in A ball, he made the jump to the majors, swiftly moving through the system. It was just too much too soon as he was overwhelmed at the plate and at first base.
Last season he spent a majority of the season in AAA Indianapolis setting career highs in every offensive category. It was not the same story in the majors. In 60 games in Pittsburgh, Pearce batted six points over the Mendoza Line with just a .206. He lacked power that he showed throughout the minors just hitting four homeruns.
He has a chance to make the team out of camp but that most likely will not happen. There is a heated battle for the last bench spots and Pearce will be one of the odd men out.
The Rays and Pirates played their way to 10 innings, but TB outlasted the Bucs 4-3. Brian Friday hit a homerun for Pittsburgh.
In a similar, yet completely different scenario, Friday is in a “Pearce like position.” For about the last two years he has made a name for himself in the minors.
With the major league roster jammed with infield talent (Ronny Cedeno, Delwyn Young, Akinori Iwamura, Ramon Vazquez) Friday will need at least another year in the minors to develop.
The Rice University product spent last year in AA Altoona. He hit just .265 but is said to have a great glove. By showing pop in his bat today he may just be “the guy” at second in say 2012.
The Bucs will bring the team together tomorrow when they face the Yankees yet again.
Remember me issuing my excitement for Tuesday’s WVU baseball game? Well it was postponed due to the snow still on the field. It is melting rather quickly as temperatures reached the mid-50’s in Morgantown today. But I hear the field is wetter than the Everglades. They may be able to get in Thursday’s game however.
To hold me over these next three days I have Wednesday to look forward to. The Pirates take on the Orioles Wednesday at 7p.m. The game will be televised on FSN Pittsburgh. My buddy Andrew is a big Orioles fan so we will enjoy watching this game together.
photo credits: espn.com, pirates.scout.com
Sitting in my Economics class I was antsy. I couldn’t listen to the lecture about unemployment, I just wanted to watch my Bucs. As soon as we got out I rushed to my buddy’s girlfriend’s apartment where MLB Network would be on the HD TV. I do not get it at my apartment so I really thank Alyssa for allowing me to crash at her place for a few hours and enjoy a real live baseball game.
After that it was rather uneventful.
The Pirates only totaled three hits in the contest.
Now this wasn’t a game against Javier Vazquez, CC Sabathia or AJ Burnett. Rather it was Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre and Alfredo Acceves. Now those are guys with major league time, but I would hope some of our young Bucs could sneak some hits in.
The Pirates used a pitcher an inning for nine frames. It was a unique move that made the YES network announcers ponder using that tactic in a regular season game. The unanimous decision, it couldn’t work.
The announcers brought up a good point also. It has to deal with the numbers of baseball.
The picture on the right is McCutchen from a 2008 Spring Training game. Notice the astronomical number. 76? Andrew McCutch aint no 76! But players like him, back in 2008, are just marginal prospects with a long shot of making the MLB roster. Being handed a number that high may be a downgrade, but in his case I think it was just a motive to work harder. The TV announcers said anyone wearing over 60 in ST will not make the big leagues that year. No Wayne Gretzkys (99) here is how they put it. It’ll be an interesting stat to look back on come April.
Anyway, back to the game. The nine Pirate pitchers did not do a bad job containing the Yanks. Steven Jackson and Virgil Vazquez were the only ones giving up multiple hits and runs. I was never a big fan of this tandem and found more reason to not support them today.
The game was toed 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth until powerhouse Colin Curtis stepped to the plate.
Curtis ripped the pitch to right field over the head of Jose Tabata and into the stands. A 3-run bomb by the former 4th round pick in the 2006 draft. Curtis was the hero for the day much like Bill Mazeroski was back in October of 1960. Maz’s walk off home run to beat the Yankees is still fondly remembered by baseball fans around the world today, it is doubtful Curtis’s homer will even be though of at the end of March. However, his wikipedia page already remembers the event.
“He hit a 3 run walk off homerun in the Yankees first 2010 spring training game against the Pirates.”
Maybe it will be forever etched in Yankeess lore. I doubt it.
The Braves are up next!
photo credit: mlb.com, buccobits.mlblogs.com, flickr.com, baseballprospectus.com