Sunday, June 11, 2006

• The Giants played the Pittsburgh Pirates this weekend. It brought back some memories of the first professional baseball game I ever attended. It was in 1961; and the game was also between the Pirates and the San Francisco Giants. That night game must have been during the summer, when the church we went to organized a trip to a game at the old Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.

The group left New Castle for Pittsburgh in a chartered school bus. It would have been a 50 or 60 mile trip. In the early 1960’s that would have seemed much longer than it does today.

I can only remember a few parts of the game. Roberto Clemente hit a triple and Bill Mazeroski had an error at second base for the Pirates. San Francisco won the game. If I had been paying more attention to the players then, I may have notices McCovey and Mays on the Giants team(is Cepeda in he Hall?), who would also become Hall of Fame inductees. Some Giants Hall of Fame pitchers may have also been there. I was sitting low in my seat in those days and behind a pillar. Just to watch the game was a chore. I can also remember that when the game was over, the crowd moving through the inside ramps to exit the stadium seemed to be crushing in around me. My plan was to just stick close to my father and hold on to the Pirate Yearbook he had bought for me that showed photos of Mazeroski's world Series winning home run in the 60 series..

The Pirates had won the World Series in 1960; but I think they finished last in 61. Because of the keeping of detailked records in baseball, I bet it may be possible to figure out exactly which game that had been.

I looked up the box scores for Pirate / Giants games at Forbes Field in 1961 and I can't find anything which matches my memory. Yikes! What did happen during that game? There was a game on July 2nd that Marichal pitched against Shantz that Pittsburg won 9 t0 0. Clemente had a triple in the second game of that double header. In the first game Maz had an error and the Pirates also won. Old memories are shattered easily. What a 10 year old boy perceives may be quite bifferent from what a 55 year old sees.

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