by Zane Heiple
|Photo by bigmouthsports.com|
Hello Pirates fans, its Tuesday and here at Fans From The Stands that means it’s time for another edition of Bucco Blast From The Past. Today we look back on the Hall of Fame career of Bill Mazeroski.
Maz is one of the best known players in the 125 year history of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Signed by the Buccos as a 17 year old in 1954 as a shortstop, he was moved to second base and made his Major League debut on July 7, 1956.
Throughout his career he was known for his defense, with his best offensive season coming in 1958 when he hit .275 with 19 home runs and 68 RBI. However, his bat is what put himself and the 1960 Pirates in the history books. It was game 7 of the World Series when Mazeroski stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth at Forbes Field and the score was tied 9-9. New York Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry was on the mound when he delivered the pitch that Bill would hit over the left field wall to hit the only game seven walk off home run in the history of the World Series. He would win another title with the Pirates in 1971, but had a limited role on the team at that time. His final game in the Majors came with the Pirates in October of 1972.
Maz collected many awards during his career. He was a ten time All-Star, eight time gold glove winner, Babe Ruth Award winner in 1960 for his World Series play, had his number 9 retired by Pittsburgh in 1987, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001. A statue of Mazeroski was unveiled in September of 2010 outside the right field entrance at PNC Park.
Currently Maz serves as an infield instructor for the Pirates during spring training and lives in Panama City Florida. Fans may even see Bill at the ball park when the Pirates celebrate either the 1960 or 1971 World Series winning teams.
Thank you for checking out this week’s edition of Bucco Blast From The Past. Be sure to check back every Tuesday for a new edition.