Essential Pittsburgh
4:05 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Pirates Baseball: Looking at Winning Seasons Past and Hopes for the Present

The exhibit at the Heinz History Center that commemorates the year the Pirates won with a walk-off home run in Game 7 of the World Series over the New York Yankees.
The exhibit at the Heinz History Center that commemorates the year the Pirates won with a walk-off home run in Game 7 of the World Series over the New York Yankees.
Credit Heinz History Center

The 1960 World Series Champions Commemorated at the Heinz History Center

The 2014 baseball season opens Monday. Coming off their first winning season in years, hopes are high for the Pirates.

An exhibit of one of the greatest moments in the team’s history just opened at the Senator John Heinz History Center.

On display are artifacts from Bill Mazeroski’s ninth inning home run, which led to the defeat of the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.

Mazeroski’s iconic Game 7 uniform and bat are on loan from the Tull Family Collection until May 1.

Anne Madarasz, Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum co-director, described items that have never been on display locally, with the exception of a short stint at PNC Park last September:

  • Mazeroski’s uniform and bronzed 35-inch Louisville Slugger bat
  • The uniform and bronzed bat will be accompanied by the first base and pitching rubber from Game 7
  • The jersey of the 1960 World Series MVP, Dick Groat, who was also the Pirates shortstop and team Captain that year
  • A life-like museum figure of Mazeroski hitting the legendary walk-off home run that won the 1960 World Series for the Pirates.

With a New Season of Pirates Baseball Comes Many Questions

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak is ready to cover another opening day for the Pirates. In the wake of the team's first winning season in a generation, comes many questions for this year.

What are the Pirates' expectations for the year?

"Success breeds the desire for more success. The expectations certainly are higher."

Dvorchak said, "The expectations legitimately are that they want to see them win the whole thing."

What is the team's prospects for returning to the post-season?

Dvorchak said, "I don't know if they're going to win quite as many games as they did last year, but that doesn't mean they won't be in the playoffs because it all depends on the division."

How will the fans react if they don't perform well?

Dvorchak said, "If they suffered through 20 consecutive losing seasons and still showed up at that ballpark, I think there's always going to be a segment of the population that loves baseball so much that they're going to show up."

What will the attendance be like this year?

Dvorchak said, "I would expect that based on last years's success and if they did their job right in the offseason, that this will be a record year in attendance. They might crack 3 million."