Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lets Go Bucs! Forbes Field June 1961..

"Pittsburgh, PA...a drinking town with a sports problem".  I saw that on a t-shirt once.  I also remember a sign that said "Pittsburgh:City of Champions...and the Pirates".'s been a dry spell.I  t is easy to jump on the bandwagon of a team that is winning but lets face it, win or lose, we love our Pirates.  Although winning seasons have evaded them over the recent years, things are looking up for the Buccos.

 My earliest memories of Pirates baseball were laying in my bed with the window open on a warm summer night.  I could clearly hear the radio broadcast from John Chernisky's nearby porch as he listened to the games.  He never missed one.  John was a good man who was good to the kids and gave me a pumpkin every Halloween from his garden.   I grew up with and played little league with his grandson, George "June Bug" Chernisky, as well as countless wiffle ball games with the Rices Landing crew.

 My first Pirate game was a trip to Three Rivers Stadium in the early 90s when the Pirates/Mets rivalry was hot and heavy.   We taunted Met's outfielder Darryl Strawberry from the cheap seats !Andy Demaske even got on the scoreboard and evening news waving his shirt above his head.  The TV announcer (Fedko?) said "Big game-Big win!" as the camera panned in on a shirtless "Chooch" Demaske rooting on the Buccos.   I'd pay a million dollars for a Youtube clip of that!

 So this post is dedicated to June Bug,  Chooch and all the Rices Landing crew!  I wish I had planned this but I admit, it was pure luck!  After going trough more of my Grandfather's old slides, I came upon these!  I have never seen these but  in light of the Pittsburgh Pirates recent winning season (they're in second place as I type this) what better time to post up some classic Buccos shots!?

 These are shots taken by my Grandad from Forbes Field in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh dated June 1961.  It looks like it may have been some sort of ceremony,judging from the trophy.
 Forbes Field was demolished when I was just a baby so I was never there.  Most remember it as the sight of  Bill Mazeroski's home run which won the 1960 World Series.  As per the Wiki the field opened in 1909 and  the final game was against the Cubs on June 28, 1970.

 The scoreboard lists the next game against St. Louis the following day so I assume that is who they are playing.  According to the Pirates played the Cardinals on June 16,17 and a double header on the 18th.  The Pirates won 3 of 4 games.   More info here.We need you baseball fanatics to set us straight! Chooch, get to studying these pix and....'Lets Go Bucs!"