Reporting Dave Crawley
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As this year’s Pirates team defies the odds, long-time fans think back to another squad that surprised the baseball world.
Forbes Field. Seventh game. Bottom of the ninth. Bill Mazeroski beat the Yankees with the greatest home run in baseball history. That moment, and his joyful jaunt around the bases, will be cherished by Pirate fans forever.
The bat he swung that afternoon is bronzed. So are the shoes that crossed home plate. They are part of Maz’s memorabilia, up for auction in November.
“Tell you the truth,” Maz told a news conference at PNC Park, “I had that jersey and uniform in a safe place, and I saw it once in 53 years. And I just looked at it to make sure the moth balls were working and all that stuff.”
Flanked by David Hunt of Hunt Auctions at PNC Park, the modest Hall of Famer hopes they will wind up on public view. A portion of the proceeds go to Pirates Charities.
It’s all authenticated, down to the stains on the uniform.
“It can be all kinds of things,” Hunt said. “It could be grass, whatever. It’s champagne.”
Champagne flowed, and the town went wild. Meanwhile, Bill and his wife, Milene, found a quiet spot.
“We just went up in Squirrel Hill and sat on the bench and watched the squirrels,” he recalls. “That’s all that was up there; never saw another car or anything. Everybody was downtown having fun.”
No one knows what happened to the ball.
Listen to the Pirates’ Neil Walker comment on the memorabilia: