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.
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.
"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: