August 8, 2007

Remembering The Maz Homer

On Pirates.com, an article by Jeremy Anders called Mazeroski's blast a rebirth for Pirates recaps just how unlikely the '60 Championship was.

A couple quotes in the article got me to thinking about the current Pirates.  Here are the quotes:

"If you look at that lineup, he's probably one of the least likely guys to hit a home run," said Gabriel Schechter, research associate at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. "Forget about the situation; forget about the pressure of anyone hitting a home run there. He was just the least likely."

"Just looking at the '50s, the Pirates were about as bad a team as there was," Schechter said. "From '52-'55 they were the doormats. For them to get off the mat so quickly and win the pennant was a remarkable thing. And to beat the Yankees was really outrageous."

I'll give you a few minutes to read the article then come back.

 

Welcome back.

 

You could sum up the Pirates of, say, the last 15 years, as being "about as bad a team as there was".  What current Pirate could be the one to deliver the next Maz type moment?  Let me hear your thoughts in the BTW Forum or in the comments link below.

 

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After reading the article, I have a cruel story to share.  While I was living in Raleigh, one of the guys I worked with was a huge Yankee fan by the name of Carlos.  He grew up in New York and was about 12 in 1960.  He recalled the intimate details of the entire game.  Everything from the Yankees shortstop taking a bad hop to the throat to Hal Smith's homer that followed to give the Pirates a 2-run lead.

He recalled how the Yankees tied the game, leading up to the fateful moment that Maz came to bat.

His description of what happened was heart retching.  How the moment he heard that Maz drove it over the wall he turned to the window to cry, to keep his mother from seeing him cry.  He recalled looking out the window, across the street, seeing another child in the window crying as well, looking back at him with the same pained expression on his face.

When he told the story, he almost welled up in tears again.

Of course, being the sympathetic guy I am, every time we talked baseball and he defended his beloved Yankees' by saying they didn't buy their championships.  I would simply mutter "Mazeroski".  Instant silence would follow, some of the easiest arguments I ever won.

 

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I still believe the rumored curse of Bonds is a fantasy.  The real curse was placed by an ex-Pirate by the name of Sid Bream.  Yes the real curse is the "Curse of Sid".  The Pirates haven't won since that moment, Bonds left after the curse was placed. 

Damn you Sid. 

And damn you Cabrerra.

 

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