The countdown to the start of Spring Training 2018 for the Pittsburgh Pirates is now down to single digit days remaining
There is now less than a week and a half remaining until the Pittsburgh Pirates hold their first workout of Spring Training 2018. In just 9 days, the team’s pitchers and catchers will take to the fields of Pirate City for their first workout of the spring.
When it comes to the Pittsburgh Pirates and the number 9 there is only one player that comes to mind – Hall of Fame second baseman Bill Mazeroski.
Bill Mazeroski is arguably the greatest defensive second baseman in the history of Major Leauge Baseball. This is a major reason why the Wheeling, West Virginia, native was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001. Additionally, Maz had his number 9 retired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1987.
While Maz was a wizard with the glove, what he is most well known for is a home run. While Maz was not a big power threat in his career, he did hit the most memorable home run in baseball history.
In the bottom of the 9th inning in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, Bill Mazeroski stepped to the plate with the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees tied at 9. Mazeroski then proceeded to hit the first, and still only, walk-off home run in the history of Game 7 of the World Series.
Bill Mazeroski drove a Ralph Terry pitch over the wall at Forbes Field. In one of the most iconic images in baseball history, Mazeroski twirled his helmet around as he rounded the bases, he was greeted by fans on the field, and a mob of fans and teammates at home plate.
As Maz rounded the bases and Pirate fans cheered, the Bucs completed one of the biggest upsets in World Series history to defeat the heavily favored Yankees in 7 games. Part of this wall still stands on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in the city’s Oakland neighborhood.
In September 2010, the Pirates unveiled a statue dedicated to Mazeroski’s home run outside the right field gates at PNC Park. With this honor, Mazeroski joined Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, and Willie Stargell as ex-players with statues outside PNC Park.
Bill Mazeroski is still a prominent face in Pirate circles. He works with the franchises fantasy camp each winter and is always a guest instructor in Bradenton each spring. Maz will always be one of the most beloved Pirate players of all-time.
Bill Mazeroski’s home run in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series is the most memorable in baseball history. In fact, Sports Illustrated ranked it as the 8th most memorable moment in sports history. Odds are, there will never be another moment like Maz’s home run in Pirate history. There may never be another moment like it in all of baseball history.