Wednesday, October 13, 2010

History reborn...50 years later

Allow me to paint a picture.

October 13th, 1960. Game 7 of the World Series between the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Yankees forced a game 7 the day before with a convincing 12-0 victory. Whitey Ford had just pitched his 2nd complete game shutout of the series and the Pirates found themselves down 7-4 going into the Bottom of the 8th. Back-up catch Hal Smith and cracked a pinch-hit 3-run blast to cap off a 5-run 8th inning; giving Pitt a 9-7 lead.

RBI's by Mantle and Berra tie the game up at 9 going into the bottom of the 9th inning. Leading off and facing Ralph Terry was Bill Mazeroski. The rest is history.

Maz took a high fastball from Ralph Terry and pulled it over the the left field wall, which was 410 feet away. Yogi Berra looked up and watched the only game-winning Home Run to ever end Game 7 of a World Series sail out of Forbes Field.

All that remains of Forbes field is a portion of the center and right-center field walls on what is now the campus of Pittsburgh University. However, Pirates fans still flock to the site every year on the 13th of October to relive this famous moment in baseball history. At 1pm, the original NBC Radio replay is broadcast for all to hear so that the memories are relived to the exact minute.
But thanks to Bing Crosby and his love of wine, these memories can now be visually remembered for all time.
For years, there wasn't a single copy of the original telecast of the game. Bing Crosby, a famous singer and actor, once owned the Pittsburgh Pirates until his death in 1977. While his estate was recently being cleaned out, a reel of the game, in it's entirity, was discovered in the wine cellar. The temperature of the room allowed the reel to be preserved. It has since been sold to the MLB Network, been converted to DVD and will air, in it's entirity, later this winter.
It's simply amazing in this day and age to believe that there was no backup footage from an event only 50 years. It just shows how far we have come with technology. For years, Pittsburgh fans have not had many reasons to cheer and most of their fond memories have just been through word of mouth. Now grandsons and granddaughters of fans of this proud franchise can witness firsthand, one of the greatest moments in the history of Major League Baseball.

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