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Back to the 'Burgh: Yankees visit Pitt for first time since 1960

Big League Stew

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Here's a cool byproduct of this year's interleague play: For the first time since the Bill Mazeroski homer that ended the 1960 World Series, the Yankees will play a game in Pittsburgh.

The New York Times has a good look at that memorable series, from the staggering odds the Pirates faced to the group of Pirates fans and players that still gather at the still-standing Forbes Field wall every Oct. 13 to celebrate the most famous home run in World Series history.

From the NYT:

Coming into the Series, the Pirates were widely seen as the sacrificial lamb on the altar of a Yankee dynasty that was in the process of winning 10 of 16 World Series from 1947 to 1962.

“The sportswriters, especially those guys from New York, never gave us a chance,” said Bill Virdon, the Pirates’ fleet-footed center fielder on the 1960 team. “They didn’t bother to look at how we got there.”

What ended up happening was the Game 7 shocker, which left even the Mick at a loss.

From Mike Vaccaro's column in the NY Post today:

"I don't ever remember crying after any other game I ever played," Mickey Mantle said in a 1985 interview published in The Post, the 25th anniversary of that epic, awful Series, "but I cried my eyes out in Pittsburgh. Thinking about it today, I still want to cry."

In his column, Vaccaro decries that interleague play has simply become "uniforms playing against each other, shaking down dusty snapshots of distant Octobers." And while I see his point — the '08 versions of the Yankees and Pirates are a now an universe apart instead of just a world — it's still good for baseball to have these little mini-celebrations/remembrances of the past.

Without this matchup, I wouldn't have known that the Forbes Field wall was still standing and made a note to go visit the next time I'm in the 'Burgh.

Without this matchup, I wouldn't have been reminded of the fact that it was left fielder Yogi Berra — who's mostly remembered by my generation as a quotable catcher — who watched Maz's ball sail over his head that day in October, 18 years before I was born.

Without this annivesary, I wouldn't have an excuse to post one of my favorite World Series photos after the jump. Not a bad few byproducts for baseball, if you ask me:

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