Sunday, October 14, 2012

Replay of 1960 Game 7 Maz Homer Game

On Saturday, DB~'s father invited us to join him at the annual replay held every October 13th to commemorate the dramatic Game 7 win for the Pirates in the 1960 World Series.  DB~'s one brother also joined us for the trip over to Oakland at the site of the remnants of the old Forbes Field outfield wall.

We got there around 1 pm for the "first pitch".  The whole game is timed to coincide with the actual time of 3:36 pm when Maz hit his game-winning/World Series-winning home run.  When we got to the wall, there were probably 60-70 people.  After we came back from lunch at Fuel and Fuddle at 2:45 pm, the crowd had swelled to around 100 people.  There were people cooking out on grills, kids playing old-school pin ball games, people cheering each individual play that went the Pirates way.

It was inspiring and depressing all at the same time.  Inspiring in the fact that there are such diehard fans that are willing to get together and bask in the greatness of a once proud franchise.  Depressing in the fact that people were forced to celebrate an event 52 years ago with the same fervor as it happened back then, due to the terribleness of the franchise for the last 20 years that has been unable to provide new great memories.

Of the roughly 100 people there, I would say about 75 of them were in the 60's at least.  It made DB~ question how long this tradition would continue to go on once people continued to die off.  I can't see people our age (mid 30's) celebrating an event that occurred 15 years before our birth that we never saw live.

There were 3 post-industrial, skinny jean-wearing guys filming the event, perhaps as some sort of documentary.  They could have been college students doing this as a class project.

The best part of the day was hearing some of DB~'s father's stories about working as a 16 year old usher/janitor at Forbes Field.  He had a great story about being #402 in seniority in the union and showing up each game to see if he got an assignment.  Due to the huge number of guys ahead of him, he didn't always usher but he would stay and play cards and watch the game sometimes.  He also worked from 11 pm to 5 am sweeping up under seats (hoping that he didn't get a section where people ate a lot of peanuts).

We've been to the wall of Forbes numerous times and have seen the home plate in Posvar Hall numerous times, but this was the first time walking the whole thing at the same time.  It really strikes you how awful it was to tear down Forbes Field (admittedly a dump by 1972) for the brutalism style post-modern crap that is the soulless Posvar Hall.  It really is an ugly, ugly building.

Sometimes you can't stand in the way of progress, but when you tear a building down that has so much history and ties to the city and neighborhood it occupies, you should at least replace it with something that has the capability to make special memories too.  That hasn't happened with this section of Oakland.

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