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October 13, 2008 - John Mehno
Today is October 13, and you know what that means.
It's Mazeroski day.
It was 48 years ago this afternoon that Bill Mazeroski hit a 1-0 hanging slider from Ralph Terry over the left field wall at Forbes Field to beat the New York Yankees 10-9 and win the 1960 World Series for the Pirates. The home run touched off a street party that lasted well into the night.
Chuck Brinkman was the evening disc jockey at KQV then. KQV had a street-level showcase studio where people could look in and watch the DJ at work. There was a huge crowd at the corner of "Walk and Don't Walk" that night, dancing to the Top 40 tunes that Brinkman was playing. It was fun for a while, but Brinkman remembers closing the curtains at some point to shut out the craziness.
At that point the Pirates hadn't won a championship since 1925, the Steelers had never won one, and the Penguins didn't exist. To say the World Series win was a big deal for Pittsburgh would be a terrible understatement. It was also important that they beat the Yankees, who seemed to win every year. In fact, the Yankees would come back and win the next two World Series. The Pirates wouldn't get there again until 1971.
For one magical Thursday afternoon and evening, it was all about the Pirates making Pittsburgh proud. I have no memory of the day, which was three years before I started following baseball. My parents saved the newspapers from Oct. 14, 1960, and I can remember reading them at least a hundred times over the years. I still have them socked away in a folder in the hall closet.
Government offices, banks and schools are closed today. They say it's for Columbus Day. We know better.