Bill Mazeroski is probably another name you may have never heard.
Reality is, he is in the Baseball Hall of Fame; not for the moment that he made so famous and that forever will be remembered by the faithful fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is in the hall as a result of being one of the greatest fielding second basemen of any generation. He won 8 gold gloves for his outstanding ability around 2nd base. He holds the record for being a part of the most double plays in baseball history. He played his entire 17 year career for the Pirates.
But outside of the Pirate fan base, he is remembered solely for his home run in Game #7 of the 1960 World Series off Ralph Terry of the New York Yankees. It remains to this day as the only “walk-off” home run to win a game 7 of the World Series; a big World Series moment; an even bigger moment for the Pittsburg Pirates.
Mazeroski’s home run is one of my earliest memories of major league baseball. I was 7. I am not sure I actually saw the home run on TV. It is unlikely. And it is doubtful I understood any of the significance of the moment. I had attended my first professional ball game that year at the LA Coliseum. My Mom took me to the game where the World Champion Dodgers were awarded their World Series rings for winning the 1959 series against the Chicago White Sox. I am not certain why my Mom was interested and certainly not sure why she felt compelled to take me to that game or any game at that stage. I could be wrong, but that may have been the last professional game she ever attended. One and done…just like Mazeroski.
As I have said, I didn’t grow up in a family that was sports-minded. My Mom grew up in Madera and in Wilmington, and I don’t think her or her uncle’s or any of her friends or family had anything to do with organized sports. My Dad was even more distanced from sports. He had played some tennis and done gymnastics growing up, fairly low profile. My sisters were never involved unless you count ballet, and my brother played YMCA football for a season or two. He got hurt early on and decided it wasn’t his thing…..
So here I am with all these stories and experiences and memories, wondering how I got here.
SSOMG has decided to credit Maz with triggering all of this. I doubt if he has a clue.
Bill Mazeroski is now 83 years old. I will send him a card tomorrow and thank him; great home run, great timing Maz.