If there's one thing Pittsburgh loves, it's celebrating a winning baseball team. Unfortunately, they haven't been able to do so in a very long time, which means all that love gets thrust upon triumphant teams from the past. Today was the latest example, as several thousand people gathered at the Forbes Field Wall in Oakland to listen to an audio version of a 50-year-old game.
Series hero Bill Mazeroski and nine of his '60 Pirate teammates (Dick Groat, Bill Virdon, Bob Friend, Vernon Law, Hal Smith, Joe Christopher, George Witt, Joe Gibbon, Bob Oldis and ElRoy Face) joined Vera and Luis Clemente in the festivities, which have been celebrated annually since 1985.
The 2010 celebration included the dedication of a plaque in Mazeroski's honor, as if Pittsburgh needed yet another reminder of the once-in-a-lifetime moment. Nonetheless, Wednesday's crowd was estimated at 3-4 times the normal size of the traditional crowd at the event, which I assume would be a record. From the sounds of it, there were more people out today than at some actual Pirate games this year. I guess there's something to be said for knowing they won't lose.
The party continues Wednesday night at a PNC Park black tie gala which will benefit the Parks Conservancy and Pirates Charities. After that, the next gathering will be on November 13 at a screening of the recently-found tape of Game Seven from Bing Crosby's wine cellar. Highlights from that event will be included with the Crosby tape on an MLB Network special to premiere on December 15.