I remember where I was when I heard Bill Mazeroski was elected to the Hall of Fame. I was not a Maz fan, nor a Pirates fan, and I may have not even been aware of his World Series heroics at the time. But sitting in my car in the CVS parking lot in Bowling Green, Kentucky, I remember hearing on ESPN radio that Mazeroski was going to the Hall of Fame. I have no idea why that memory stays with me.
Mazeroski was a very good defensive second baseman, and perhaps that contributed more than anything to his candidacy. He appeared in ten All-Star Games, received eight Gold Glove Awards, and was named the 1960 Major League Player of the Year by the Sporting News.
Two players among the six #9’s retired are not in the Hall of Fame, though there are some who believe at least one of them should be immortalized.
Minnie Minoso, Chicago White Sox
Minoso was a Negro League star before coming to the majors in 1949 and was named to seven All-Star squads during his big league career. After his retirement from the majors in 1964, Minoso played several seasons in Mexico, and made a brief comeback with the White Sox in 1976, appearing in three games, and another in 1980, playing in a pair. He also made appearances with the St. Paul Saints of the Northern League in 1993 and 2003, becoming the first player in history to play professionally in seven decades.
Bill Mazeroski, Pittsburgh Pirates
Enos Slaughter, St. Louis Cardinals
Reggie Jackson, Oakland A’s
Roger Maris, New York Yankees
Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox
Right about now, I should be boarding a plane in Baltimore to come back home. If all went according to plan, I saw the Orioles play the Red Sox last night at Camden…of course, things don’t always go according to plan, so I’ll let you know if plans changed.
Earlier this year, my family and I drove through Pittsburgh on the way to visit family, and stopped to see the Reds play the Pirates at PNC Park. We only saw a few batters because of the rain, but I had fun visiting the park for the first time. The Pirates have some great statues outside the park, including the legendary Honus Wagner right out front…
“Pops” (Willie Stargell) is located on the third base side of PNC…
Roberto Clemente (and the bridge named after him) are out near left field…
There is also a bridge named after artist Andy Warhol, parallel to the Clemente bridge, but I didn’t get a photo of it. It’s basically the same bridge, and I didn’t see any signs calling them Clemente or Warhol. I wanted to go to the Warhol Museum, but it was closed the day we were in town.
Outside the right field side of the park is a statue of Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski…
There is also a street named after Maz, and since we were just walking around for a few hours before the game, I snapped a shot of the street sign…
It really shouldn’t have taken more than two months to write this post.
I never have posted too much about my trip to Pittsburgh in July. We left the game during the second rain delay because we still had several hours to drive that night. But before the game started, and before the rain fell, we had a good time walking around PNC Park. I took several photos of the statues outside the stadium, and intend to share those with you eventually.
While planning for the trip in June, I noticed a poster of Bill Mazeroski being offered on the Pirates website. You could order it on-line, then pick it up at the ballpark. I decided not to order at the time because our plans were still somewhat tentative, and when we stopped at the gift shop, they were sold out! Luckily, they still had a few in the administrative offices and allowed us to purchase one there.
Upon our return home, I went to Walmart to purchase a poster frame, and now it hangs proudly in the man-cave:
I love art, and I love baseball, so I doubly love baseball art. I think this is a fantastic poster!