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


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


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


“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


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.