1960 Victory Gala honors Pirates Charities

The Glory Days were alive and well on Wednesday as a fanatical
crowd of more than 400 crowded into the Lexus Club at PNC Park for
the 1960 Victory Gala, celebrating the day the
Pittsburgh
Pirates entered the promise land off
the tip of Bill Mazeroski’s bat.

“Whoever would have dreamed this would be happening after 50
years?” he humbly confessed through countless photo ops and
autographs, offering an optimistic outlook on the current Bucco’s
chance of tasting something other than defeat. “Well, they’re about
due!”

This true cast of first-class characters had us waxing poetic
for the good ol’ days, even those of us who were still twinkles in
our parents’ eyes on that beautiful October afternoon in Forbes
Field. Off the bench, the likes of Joe Gibbon, Vernon Law, Hal
Smith, George Witt, ElRoy Face, Kent Tekulve and Bob Oldis mixed
with co-chairs Mel Rex and Frank Coonelly, all looking tres chic in
their black ties, although at least one among them wasn’t going to
be able to make any prolonged appearances.

“I have to have this tux back in an hour!” laughed Steve Blass,
as the rest of the boys traded barbs and offered nominations for
open spots on the
Pirates pay roll.

“They’re getting some new management…” commented Bill
Virdon.

“Is he (Bill) in the running?” laughed Dick Groat.

An absolutely unbelievable evening that benefitted
Pirates Charities and the Pittsburgh
Parks Conservancy to the tune of $231K, topped off with dinner
under the tents on the third base line.

But securing a top spot on our highlight reel was being escorted
out onto the field to watch footage (courtesy of the MLB just for
the occasion) from the “Best Game Ever,” aka, the recently
discovered Bing Crosby Wine Cellar footage from Game 7 of the World
Series.

The air was ELECTRIC, I tell you; pulsating through our bones as
we sat on the edge of our seats as Maz rounded third and headed for
glory, all the while in the presence of the fabulous bat boys from
the 1960 roster.

“It’s great to be remembered!” smiled Bob Friend.

Even greater to know you’ll never be forgotten.