This Date in Pirates History: October 13

On this date in 1960 the Pirates won game seven of the World Series at Forbes Field by a 10-9 score over the New York Yankees on a walk-off home run from Bill Mazeroski. The win gave the Pirates their third World Series title overall and first one in 35 years.

Mazeroski scores the series winning run

The Pirates took an early 2-0 lead in the game on a home run by Rocky Nelson in the 1st inning. In the 2nd, Bill Virdon added 2 more runs with a single that scored Don Hoak and Mazeroski. Vernon Law shutout the Yankees for the first four innings before allowing a solo homer to Moose Skowron leading off the 5th inning. The Yankees scored four runs in the 6th to take the lead on an RBI single from Mickey Mantle and a three run homer by Yogi Berra.

In the 8th inning the scoring started to pile up, two more runs for the Yankees followed by a five spot for the Pirates in the bottom of the inning. A three run homer by Hal Smith made the score 9-7 going into the 9th. A one out single by Mantle off of Harvey Haddix brought the Yankees within one run and then a heads up base running play by Mantle helped tie the score.  A hard groundout by Yogi Berra to 1B could’ve ended the game but when Rocky Nelson touched the bag first before making the throw to 2B, Mantle slid back into 1B while the tying run scored. That set up the bottom of the 9th for Mazeroski

With Ralph Terry on the mound and Mazeroski leading off the inning of the tied game, the first pitch thrown was called a ball. That next pitch from Terry was swung at by Mazeroski, who sent a long drive over the left field wall, ending the series and giving the Pirates the title. It remains to this day the only game seven series ending homer in World Series history

Born on this date in 1876 was Pirates pitcher and Hall of Famer, Rube Waddell. He began his career with the Lousville Colonels in 1897 and pitched just 12 games over three years before being shipped to the Pirates as part of the 16 player deal that also saw three other Hall of Famers included, Jack Chesbro, Fred Clarke and Honus Wagner. Rube made 22 starts and seven relief appearances for the Pirates in 1900 and despite an 8-13 record he led the National League with a 2.37 ERA.

Waddell was a tough player for anyone to handle, he was easily distracted and would often show up late or not at all on his days to pitch but his talent was undeniable. The Pirates suspended him during the 1900 season but he was so good that they decided to put up with him for as long as they could. In 1901 he made two early season starts, pitched poorly and they decided they had enough, selling him to Chicago. He would eventually go to the Philadelphia Athletics where Connie Mack got the best out of him. In six seasons under Mack he won 131 games, posted a 1.97 ERA and led the league in strikeouts every year. He finished his career three seasons later posting a career 2.16 ERA with 193 wins.

Dee Fondy (1924) First baseman for the 1957 Pirates. Fondy joined the Pirates on May 1,1957, coming over from the Chicago Cubs along with Gene Baker, in exchange for Dale Long and Lee Walls. Fondy played 95 games for the Pirates and did well, hitting .313 with a .744 OPS. After the season, the Pirates traded him to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Ted Kluszewski. Fondy would play one season in Cincinnati, then spent the 1959 season in the minors before retiring. He played a total of eight years in the majors, hitting .286 with 69 homers and 373 RBIs in 967 games. He finished with exactly 1000 career hits. Fondy twice led NL first baseman in errors, though the second time (in 1955), he also led the league in assists and finished second in putouts.

Finally, on this date in 1903 the Pirates lost game eight of the World Series to the Boston Americans. A full recap of the game can be read here

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John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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