THE 2000 CELEBRATION of the 1960 WORLD SERIES AT THE FORBES FIELD WALL

For broadband users only - A 2:36 video of the remains of the Forbes Field wall.

The annual celebration of the Pirates winning the 1960 World Series on October 13th started in 1986. Saul Finkelstein of the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh went to the remaining portion of the Forbes Field wall on October 13th of that year. He was the only one there and sat down to listen to a recording of the radio broadcast of the 7th game. He has repeated this ritual every year since and each year the number of listeners grows.The wall is on The Pittsburgh University Campus across Roberto Clemente Ave. from the Wesley W. Posvar Hall.

My first visit to the October 13th celebration was in 2000. I got there about 11 AM for the start of the game's replay at 1PM. Already about 20 fans were gathering for the event. While waiting for the rebroadcast, I took a tour of the area. The remaining portion of the tall ivy covered brick wall is in a park setting. A short brick wall runs across the front of the park to form a seating area. The wall is up a small hill about 20 feet behind the seating area. The remaining portion of the wall stretches several feet to the right of the 436 foot marker through several feet to the left of the 457 feet marker. The flag pole at Forbes Field was in play in front of the 457' marker and is still standing. This was the deepest spot in the park and where the batting cage was stored, in play, during the games.

Homeplate, from the last game at Forbes Field on June 28 1970, is encased in plastic in the Wesley W. Posvar Hall. It is just outside the ladies restroom on the first floor. The walkway from this building, heading back to the park, has a series of bricks on it. These bricks follow the path of the portion of Forbes field wall that has been torn down. This is indicated with this marker. There is also a marker, along the brick wall outline, where Bill Mazeroski's homerun went over the wall to win the 7th game and the World Series.

As broadcast time approached Jim O'Brien, author of several Pittsburgh sports books, spoke to us. He related several stories about the 1960 World series and answered several questions. He also confirmed that Bill Mazeroski, the game's hero, would make his first visit to the celebration today.

As Saul started the rebroadcast shortly after 1 PM, the crowd had grown to about 200 by my guess. I spent several of the early innings walking around the crowd and talking to several of the fans about the game 40 years ago. There was many media people there along with a vendor selling Forbes Field's Tee shirts and another displaying a scale model of the park. The weather was ideal - sunny and in mid 70s. The crowd was growing throughout the day. At one point, a person, seeing the crowd, yelled "What are you protesting?" A quick thinking Bucco fan said "We are protesting that Maz is not in the Hall of Fame!"

About 2:45 a white limo pulls up and out steps Maz. He is with former pitcher Nellie King, now a Bucco PR man, along with other 1960 pitcher's ElRoy Face and Bob Friend. After the picture taking session and interviews with media, Maz came up and sat down on the brick seating area with the rest of us. As the rebroadcast continued through the late innings of the game, he spent about a half hour autographing everything fans passed up to him.

As the bottom of the ninth approached, tied with the Yankees at 9, A call for silence was made. We all listened as NBC radio's Chuck Thompson made the classic Maz homerun call. (486K WAV File) After the ball cleared the wall, and the Bucs had again won 10-9, Maz stood up and clenched his right hand above his head.

That scene sent chills up and down my spine as I remembered the RealPlayer video showing Maz clenching his right hand above his head circling 2nd base on the homerun. Gino Cimoli's classic post game comment (326K WAVE File) summed up the 1960 World Series perfectly.

It was a great day and one I will never forget. We are fortunate that Pittsburgh University preserved this portion of the Forbes Field wall. It is the perfect setting to relive the 7th game of one of the greatest World Series ever. Also many thanks to Saul who started it all.

Visit my Pirates memories page for much more on the 1960 World Series.