If baseball is the American Pastime, Pittsburgh should be recognized in the history books as a pivotal city in creating that legacy. In fact, Pittsburgh hosted the very first World Series in 1903 at Exposition Park, a stadium located in roughly the same spot as PNC Park and Three Rivers Stadium on the North Shore of the Allegheny River. That’s why I wanted to honor the legendary story of Exposition Park for this month’s tee club – it’s part of our history as citizens of the Steel City.
While baseball in Pittsburgh has been a little, well, less competitive for the past 25 years, fans still flock to PNC Park every summer to root on their Buccos. I grew up going to Three Rivers to see ‘90s icons like Jason Kendall and Al Martin. Now I take my son to PNC Park to see new all-stars in the making like Andrew McCutchen and Bryan Reynolds. It’s my dream to be there with my son when the Bucs clinch the pennant once again.
Due to some flooding and construction issues, Exposition Park was actually rebuilt a few times before the final version was finished in 1890 and became the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates for nineteen years until 1909 when they moved to Forbes Field in Oakland. As I mentioned, the very first Fall Classic was held in October 1903. The Pirates took an early three games to one lead before losing four straight to the Boston Americans. Baseball’s popularity was growing tremendously at the time and was reflected in the 17,038 in attendance at the final game, a record for Exposition Park.
Baseball is as much a part of American history as it is of Pittsburgh’s, and Exposition Park holds a special chapter in the books that tell our story.