Tag Archives: Game 7 1960 World Series

The Pirates win it!

IMG_8394.jpgFifty-eight years ago, on October 13, 1960, my father, a music teacher in the Neville Island school district,  took a day off and took me out of my first-grade class.

From Neville Island we journeyed to Forbes Field in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood.

There we watched the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the New York Yankees in Game 7 of that year’s World Series (an interesting name now, but even more so at that time when all the teams vying for the title were located in the United States).

The heavily favored Yankees had won 10 pennants in 12 years. They won three games in this series: 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0. The Pirates won the other three games by much closer scores: 6-4, 3-2, and 5-2.

Game 7 proved  a classic. The Pirates took the lead. The Yankees came back and went ahead. The Pirates regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Yankees tied it in the ninth.

Bill Mazeroski led off the bottom of the ninth inning for the Pirates. He took the first pitch for a ball. Then he drove the second pitch over the left-field wall. And the Pirates were the champions.

How much do I remember because I saw the game in person? How much do I remember because I have seen the pictures and the film and heard the stories? I will never know.

On the anniversary of the game, Pirates fans gather in Pittsburgh to relieve, remember, and recreate.

In 2009, a kinescope of the telecast was discovered in Bing Crosby’s wine cellar. Crosby owned a portion of the Pirates. A DVD appeared with the game. Tricia gave me a copy as a gift. Tonight, after the football games ended, I celebrated the past in the present as I watched the game.

“There’s a drive into deep left field, look out now… that ball is going, going gone! And the World Series is over! Mazeroski… hits it over the left field fence, and the Pirates win it 10–9 and win the World Series!” Mel Allen on NBC TV

And as it happens every time I watch the video or see a clip of Mazeroski pumping his batting helmet as he rounds the bases, I remembered my father. And my spirit warmed. And the smile has not left my face or my heart.

See you along the Trail.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Family, Pittsburgh Pirates

We Meet Again Tour – 24 April 2018

IMG_7265The return tour to New York has continued although posts have not been made. Efforts will be made to address that.

Last night, the tour made its way to Yankees Stadium. The first time I saw the Yankees play was against the Pittsburgh Pirates on 13 October 1960. The Pirates, my Pirates, won. I have remained a Pirates fan every since through triumphs, and a whole bunch of losing and frustration.

But my friend Don had tickets from his work and so, with Don and our friends John and Jim, I went to the game.

The Yankees put on a show of power. CC Sabathia pitched well. And a fun time was had!

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Friends, Pittsburgh Pirates, Sports

Living the past in the present

Fifty-eight years ago, on Thursday, October 13, 1960, my father took a day off and took me out of my first-grade class.

From Neville Island we journeyed to Forbes Field in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood.

There we watched the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the New York Yankees in Game 7 of that year’s World Series (an interesting name now, but even more so at that time when all the teams vying for the title were located in the United States).

The heavily favored Yankees had won 10 pennants in 12 years. They won three games in this series: 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0. The Pirates won the other three games by much closer scores: 6-4, 3-2, and 5-2.

Game 7 proved  a classic. The Pirates took the lead. The Yankees came back and went ahead. The Pirates regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Yankees tied it in the ninth.

Bill Mazeroski led off the bottom of the ninth inning for the Pirates. He took the first pitch for a ball. Then he drove the second pitch over the left-field wall. And the Pirates were the champions.

How much do I remember because I saw the game in person? How much do I remember because I have seen the pictures and the film and heard the stories? I will never know.

On the anniversary of the game, Pirates fans gather in Pittsburgh to relieve, remember, and recreate.

In 2009, a kinescope of the telecast was discovered in Bing Crosby’s wine cellar. Crosby owned a portion of the Pirates. A DVD appeared with the game. Tricia gave me a copy as a gift.

Tonight I celebrated the past in the present as on the anniversary, I watched the game all the way until, “There’s a drive into deep left field, look out now… that ball is going, going gone! And the World Series is over! Mazeroski… hits it over the left field fence, and the Pirates win it 10–9 and win the World Series!” Mel Allen on NBC TV

And I remembered my father. And my spirit warmed. And the smile has not left my face or my heart.

See you along the Trail.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Family

Fathers, friends, Pirates

photo (48)Tomorrow night, the Pittsburgh Pirates host the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Baseball Division Series. A Pirates win captures the series for them and moves them into the League Championship series for the first time since 1992.
When the Pirates take the field to begin the game, my high school friend Lois will be there with her father.
Lois and I attended Grove City High School in Western Pennsylvania. We had many classes together, including band where she played clarinet and I played the baritone horn. Upon graduation, Lois went to Penn State. I went to Westminster. She has landed in the field of library science. I followed a call into ministry. We lost touch fairly quickly after that.
Our class celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and Lois found me on Facebook. Through that medium, we have discovered that we both still bleed black and gold. The Pirates. The Steelers. They were our teams in high school. They are our teams now.
We each shared our support for the Pittsburgh teams with our fathers. Each of our fathers worked for the public school system.
My dad was the Assistant Superintendent of schools until his death in 1974. And a very good musician. He started his career as a public school instrumental music teacher.
Mr. Thompson, Lois’ father, was our band director. And a very good musician. 

Mr. Thompson and my father were good friends. As in any work situation, friendships form. There was a whole group of folks who were friends with my dad. But my dad was especially close to all the instrumental musicians in the system, Mr. Thompson among them. My father played for them when they needed help. Mr. Thompson played in the town band when my dad directed it.

My father and I went to Pirates games – along with my mother, brother, aunt, and grandfather. We made it a family affair. I know now that something similar happened in the Thompson household.

After the Pirates won on Friday, Lois sent me a message saying that she has tickets for Game 4 in Pittsburgh and that she will take her dad along. He is 87.

While that pricks my heart a little thinking of all the games my dad and I never saw, it also brings back a whole host of great memories. And I am really thrilled for Lois and Mr. Thompson. His first name is Grant but I can’t call him anything else but Mr. Thompson even after all these years.

Pretty cool. I count on Lois and Mr. Thompson to bring the Pirates home.

See you along the Trail.

A word about the photo. Yes. My father and I attended Game 7 of the 1960 World Series. We lived on Neville Island at the time. Dad took a vacation day and took me out of my first grade class. We were there for the Kubek hop, for Hal Smith’s three-run home run that put the Pirates ahead in the 8th inning and for Bill Mazeroski’s game-winning home run in the 9th inning. We saw history. And the most important word in that sentence then, and now, is “we.”

3 Comments

Filed under Baseball

The return of the prodigal fan?

Glory days well they’ll pass you by
Glory days in the wink of a young girl’s eye
Glory days, glory days

Bruce Springsteen

Roberto Clemente

I watched the last two innings of tonight’s Pirates-Mets game. A couple years back, my friend Wayne Gnatuk and I journeyed from Louisville to attend two games in PNC Park. Other than that trip, I have not watched the Pirates for some time – not an easy confession for one spent seven years on Neville Island in the Ohio River and most of my life in Western Pennsylvania.

It was not always that way. I faithfully followed the Pirates for years. As a child – when I would have to go to bed before the games ended – my father would write the final score on a piece of paper and leave it by my place at the breakfast table.

The Pittsburgh Pirates had glory days. I remember some of them:

  • The “Family” winning the 1979 World Series (Tricia and I had Lew Mudge over for dinner and to watch the decisive seventh game – he fell asleep!)
  • The 1971 World Series where Roberto Clemente demonstrated why Pittsburghers loved him as a baseball player   (my first hero – and one of my enduring heroes – Clemente was an even better man than he was a player and that is saying something)
  • The 1960 World Series with game seven won by Bill Mazeroski‘s walk-off home run (I was there for that game with my father – I still have our ticket stubs – of course I was young – my only clear memory that I know is a real memory and not a memory of a film clip is my father getting me out of school)

Beyond those three high moments, the Pirates were usually competitive and generally exciting in the years between and beyond. In 1992, they lost to Atlanta in the seventh game of the League Championship Series when Sid Bream, a former Pirate and one of the slower runners in the game, scored from second base on a hit to left with two outs in the ninth inning.

Since that game, the Pirates have not had a winning season. Year after year, they have lost more than they have won. 19 years – the longest continuous streak of non-winning seasons in any of the four major professional sports in the U.S. At some point that I don’t remember, I gave up. I am not proud of that, but I did.

Tonight I noticed that the Pirates and Mets were playing in Pittsburgh. I found the game on one of the New York cable stations and caught the end.

Has the prodigal returned? I am not sure, but they play again tomorrow. I plan to watch again.

Please note that this is not a case of jumping on a winner’s bandwagon. After tonight’s game, the Pirates’ record stands at 20-22.

See you along the Trail.

1 Comment

Filed under Baseball