On October 13, 1960, the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates were tied in Game 7 of the World Series. At the bottom of the ninth, Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry threw a high fastball to Pirates second baseman Bill “Maz” Mazeroski. With a crowd of cheering Bucs fans behind him, Maz launched the ball over the 406 ft marker of Forbes Field’s left wall, securing the first Pirates World Series victory in 35 years. The play remains one of the league’s most famous home runs, and is the only Game 7 walk-off home run to win a World Series.
Although the home run became his signature play, Maz was best known for his skilled defense work, which earned him multiple Gold Glove Awards and the nickname “The Glove.” He signed with the Pirates at 17 years old, starting as a shortstop and quickly becoming their regular second baseman. His footwork, coordination, and endurance made him a formidable opponent; to this day, he holds the MLB record for most career double plays by a second baseman (1,706).
At the bat, Maz hit a career-best 19 home runs in 1958. Homers were notoriously difficult at Forbes Field due to the stadium’s distant outer walls, making his 1960 World Series play even more impressive. That year, Maz received the Babe Ruth Award given to the player with the best postseason performance. He stayed with the Pirates for his entire career, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2010, a bronze statue of Maz was unveiled at PNC Park, portraying the moment he joyfully sprinted around the bases in 1960 and made his mark in Pittsburgh history.