Baseball in Pittsburgh   2006-08-01

 

Spent the past few days in Pittsburgh and among other things had a number of interesting baseball related activities ...

 

1. saw a Pirates game in the quite attractive retro-style PNC park, which faces the Allegheny River and Pittsburgh skyline;

the design was reminiscent of the old Forbes Field that was used until 1970.

 

2. coincidentally this was the second Giants game I was at this year; the first being in SF about 3 months ago;

this was Barry Bonds at bat - walk and swing and miss

 

3. Roberto Clemente was one of the all time Pirate greats; he got exactly 3000 career hits at the end of the 1972 seaon

and then was killed in a plane crash on an earthquake relief flight on December 31, 1972.   Below is a statue

by PNC Park, and on a Wheaties box in the John Heinz History Museum (fyi - Senator John Heinz, from the Heinz

ketchup family, was also killed in a plane crash some years ago and was the first husband of Teresa Heinz Kerry)

 

4. Ralph Kiner cards - one of the great home run hitters of the Pirates - still occasionally announcing for the Mets

and well into his 80s.

 

5. At PNC Park and in the Heinz museum were exhibits about the Negro leagues that existed until shortly after the

racial barrier was broken in 1947.    Pittsburgh had 2 teams ... the Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Grays.

The Homestead team was in the adjoining city of Homestead where many of the steel mills were located,

and was originally an amateur team of African-American steel workers.   The statue at PNC park was of

Satchell Paige, who was the oldest 'rookie' ever in the major leagues in 1948 ... age 42 ... with the Indians

after spending most of his career with the Crawfords.

 

6. photo of BIll Mazeroski hitting a home run, bottom of the 9th, 7th game, World Series, 1960 World Series

to defeat the Yankees.   I believe that this was the only time a walk off home run was ever hit in the 7th

game of a World Series in 104 years.

 

7. Forbes Field - was located in the Oakland section, on the University of Pittsburgh campus.    The outfield wall

still exists as a sort of monument.   Mounted in the floor in the hallway of a campus building is the home

plate from the last game in Forbes Field ... which was on June 28, 1970.

sss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  




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