On the blog today, we continue adding to my recent “expanded” 1971 “Baseball’s Greatest Moments” set with a card for Pittsburgh Pirates great Bill Mazeroski, celebrating his historic World Series winning home run in 1960:
In the seventh and final game of the 1960 World Series, the Pirates were tied with the New York Yankees 9-all, with the series also tied at three games apiece in Pittsburgh, thanks in great part to the Pirates exploding for five runs in the bottom of the eighth.
With a lead of 9-7 heading into the ninth, Pittsburgh fans were demoralized when the Yanks scored two in the top of the frame to tie it up, setting up one of the most historic moments in the game’s history.
With Ralph Terry on the mound, up came young Pirate second baseman Bill Mazeroski to lead off the inning, and on a 1-0 pitch, “Maz” hit the ball over the leftfield wall to the disbelief of the Yankees, especially Yogi Berra, who was playing left field and followed the ball to the wall, running out of space and seeing the championship fall away in that instant.
What’s especially incredible is that over the six games, the Yankees outscored the Pirates 55-27, which included a 16-3 drubbing in Game 2, a 10-0 route in game # and a 12-0 romp in Game 6.
But it all means nothing as the Pirates managed to win games by scores of 6-4 in Game 1, 3-2 in Game 4, 5-2 in Game 5 and that final 10-9 score in Game 7, shocking the baseball world with their win over the perennial champion Yankees of the era.
For Mazeroski, even though he still had a full career ahead of him, retiring after the 1972 season, that home run would remain the pinnacle of his eventual Hall of Fame career, amusing since what he was especially known for was his glove work rather than his bat.
I’ll always remember the great Mickey Mantle stating, “…losing the 1960 series was the only loss, amateur or professional, I cried actual tears over.”
Just one more chapter in the rich history of Major League Baseball.