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June 21, 2010 - John Mehno
The 1960 Pirates were back in town over the weekend. That's the group that takes me back to being a fan. Even though the '60 season was before my time, a lot of the players were still with the Pirates when I started following baseball. Being around them is like having your baseball cards come to life.
The 1971 team has a lesser effect, because I wound up covering a lot of those guys. It's different when you go behind the curtain.
It was sad to see former GM Joe L. Brown in a wheelchair at age 92, but Joe was still sharp and precise in his speech. He came in from California for the reunion and his son was keeping a close watch on him.
Fourteen of the 25 players from the World Series team are still living. Two -- Hal Smith and Gino Cimoli -- have health issues and can't travel. George Witt opted not to attend this weekend's party. There was an autograph show with the 1960 team at Robert Morris University last month, and all 12 attended that, along with a handful of 1960 players who were not on the Series team.
I got to talk to Bill Mazeroski, Bob Friend, Dick Groat, Bob Skinner, Bill Virdon and Dick Schofield. The interview availability time was limited, so regrettably I missed Vernon Law, ElRoy Face, Joe Gibbon, Bob Oldis and Joe Christopher.
It's fun to watch the players interact. They enjoy each others' company and they'll always have the bond of an amazing season at Forbes Field.