Now that our "hometown team," the San Francisco Giants, has made it to the World Series, I put on my nostalgia hat to go back a half a century to the 1960 edition that pitted the upstart Pittsburgh Pirates against the vaunted and experienced New York Yankees.
Pittsburgh was a town with an identity problem--the identity it had was that of a mill town, dirty and smoky, worse that London's killer smog of the 1950s. A Renaissance had taken place shortly before and the confluence of the three rivers, called the Point, was redone.
Ball was played in Forbes Field, one of those stadiums from a bygone era where strategically placed beams and columns made viewing the field difficult from certain seats, in fact most seats from row 13 back.
As a kid I'd take the flying fraction (77/54) streetcar to the games and go in for a dollar. One of the few times that I sat in a seat with a back was when my dad and I went with his friend to good seats in the lower deck, but only that one time.
TV may have been invented but I can't remember more than a few games that were televised, all were on AM station KDKA on the radio.
A lottery allowed commoners like us a chance to go to a World Series game. We won tickets to the second game, one where the Mickey Mantle show resulted in a severe drubbing of our "Bucs." Happy I rode home on the fraction, knowing that I'd hear the rest of the games somewhere besides our living room.
Our high school had a strict World Series rule--any one cutting classes to watch or go to the games would have to serve detention, which I did for a week.
It was there in detention with other miscreants, days later, listening to the seventh game from Forbes Field that I heard Pirate's announcer Bob "Motormouth" Prince hoarsely describe Bill Mazeroski 's bottom of the ninth walk off home run that won the game and made the Priates World Champions and Pittsburgh a proud place to be from.
I have a baseball signed by all those men of the 1960 team, including Bill Mazeroski and the legendary Roberto Clemente. The world was a vastly different place in 1960, perhaps it looks better with hindsight, don't know. It's still a game of wooden bats and hand sewn baseballs, and I love it!
Great story, SteppingStones! It brought back other baseball memories to me. Back in the early 70s I went to see my favorite baseball team, the Montreal Expos, play. It was well before Olympic Stadium was built, and if any of the rest of you have been there, you'll know that Jarry Park was like a high school stadium. Midway through the second inning drenching rain began leading to on again, off again play. Most of the crowd left, but I made my ex-husband stay. It had been the thing I looked most forward to about the trip. Needless to say, all the other people were right when they called the game in the 7th inning.
Probably my most amusing sports story (football) was a few years back when I went to Lambeau Field to watch my Patriots play the Packers in preseason. I was wearing a Tom Brady jersey, but was accompanied by two friends from Milwaukee. I am a vociferous fan, to say the least, which is why it's usually wise for me to be home alone when I watch the Patriots play. My Brady jersey did not go over big with the Cheeseheads and when I began to cheer after the Pats scored a fourth TD the woman behind me dumped a pint of beer on my head. Well worth it, however since the Pats won 31-0.