We had meant to do this Achievement last year, but on our planned day, it poured down rain, and the event fell through. This year, however, we had perfect Opening Day weather, so on our way to the Buccos game, in PNC Park’s 10th year, we stopped to visit the Pirates’ former home in Oakland.
Forbes Field was the home to the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1909 to 1971, hosting three Buccos-winning World Series (those were the days, huh?). It was torn down and turned into some buildings for the University of Pittsburgh (my alma mater!) when Three Rivers Stadium opened, but they kept a few of the relics, which we went to visit today.
And here I am with the 457′ mark from left-center field. Basically, it was crazy to hit a ball over this marker. (Presently in the MLB, the deepest spot is at the Houston Minute Maid Park, which is 436 feet.)
They also left part of the brick in the ground, so when you are walking to class in Posvar Hall, you can step over the former site of the wall. The area where Forbes Field was is now a hideous 1970s-style building with a bunch of offices and lecture halls. Across the street is the Schenley Plaza park, which is quite nice (was originally a parking lot), and close by is Schenley Park itself and the Cathedral of Learning. I imagine Forbes Field was just beautiful when it was in its prime!
Next stop was home plate! They’ve preserved home plate in the ground in Posvar (although I do believe it has moved slightly from its original location through the years). It’s supposed to be good luck to step on it before finals, so I probably should have tried that once or twice!
And finally, Michael stepping on to home plate, as if he’d just won the World Series for the Pirates (which he probably has just as good a shot at doing as the Buccos do getting into the thing in the first place).
The only important spot that is missing from our trip is the 406′ marker, which is where Bill Mazeroski hit his series-winning home run in the 9th inning of game 7 versus the Yankees back in 1960. As this was the greatest home run of all time, the Buccos chose to have that piece of wall kept at PNC Park. It was far too crazy at the game today to seek out our favorite landmarks, but we will be sure to visit it at our next trip to the ballpark!
Still to come: the Pirates home opener (a disappointing loss, but a beautiful day for baseball nonetheless).