The Pittsburgh Pirates just wrapped up their 18th consecutive losing season. So for long-suffering Bucco fans like me, it’s sometimes hard to remember that the team from the Steel City wasn’t always the basement-dwelling punching bag they are today.
Thankfully, connecting with the glorious past of the Pirates just got a little easier.
This year, the Pirates celebrated the 50th anniversary of their historic 1960 World Series Championship victory over the mighty New York Yankees – a series that ended in dramatic fashion with the first ever series-winning home run, courtesy of second baseman Bill Mazeroski in the bottom of the 9th inning of game seven. To commemorate the achievement this season, the Pirates unveiled a statue of Maz recreating the iconic exuberance of his run around the bases that day.
The down note that underscored the entire celebration, however, was the fact that no video of the game exists – all known copies are believed to have been misplaced or inadvertently destroyed in the years since.
So, imagine the surprise when a copy of the game was recently discovered in the wine cellar of Bing Crosby’s former residence outside San Francisco. The famous crooner was a partial owner of the Pirates from 1946 until he passed away in 1977. On top of that, he was also a notoriously nervous fan. The legend goes that the singer’s anxiety about the upcoming deciding game of the series caused him just too much anxiety and he chose instead to take a trip to Paris rather than watch it live – leaving instructions for a copy of the game footage to be created for him to watch at a later date.
After viewing the game, it was stored away and forgotten for decades before its recent discovery. The footage is being restored and will soon be available for baseball fans to see for themselves. Here’s hoping that takes a bit of the sting off of this year’s 57-105 record.