Watching the game seven last night I was reminded of another series, the 1960 one, featuring the powerful New York Yankees and the scrappy, overmatched Pittsburgh Pirates. My dad and I attended a game, having won a lottery for seats and paying the heavy price (then) of ten dollars a ticket. We took the streetcar and that October day, we sat in musty Forbes Field, just in front of one of the many poles that seemed to be everywhere. The Pirates lost by a ton and it looked grim and grimmer.
My own recollection of the seventh game on October 13th, 1960 in Pittsburgh was colored by where I was during the game: detention at my high school. There was a hard and fast rule that no one could go to a game and play hooky, but I did and I fessed up to my crime eagerly. The penalty was time in the high school slammer--detention--served in a classroom after school had ended.
Someone in the school office put the microphone next to the radio, so at least we miscreants could hear the play by play of the game. Doodling on my lined tablet pages I was listening and regretting the inability of the home team to keep up with the Yanks barrage of hits. As number nine, Bill Mazeroski came to the plate, game tied, in the bottom of the ninth, I held my breath. He took a ball and then launched Ralph Terry's high fastball to the ivy covered fence and over it.
My high school classmate was there, also playing hooky, since his dad was in charge of hanging the numbers for runs scored on the scoreboard. He was hanging out of one of the holes and saw the ball hit, figuring it was a catchable one. He died recently and his obituary featured that fact, and then followed with a recitation of the many things he did after high school.
Detention was cancelled, we ran home turned on the black and white Westinghouse TV, and watched the grainy films of the home run. It was a time of celebration for a whole city. And like last night, for one city it was a game to remember.