By BETTY?POKAS, Times Leader Area EditorBILL MAZEROSKI’S hair now is white, and he no longer has a crew cut as he did on Oct. 13, 1960, when he became the first player to ever strike a home run in the final inning of the final game of the World Series, and it propelled the Pittsburgh Pirates to the national championship.
Since that long-ago day, Mazeroski has received many honors, including retirement of his number — No. 9 — by the Pirates in 1987 and induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown in 2001. Shortly after his home run, he received the Babe Ruth Award, given to the player with the best performance in the World Series.
In the immediate area, he was in the first class of inductees into the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. A monument honoring the famed second baseman is at the baseball field at Buckeye Local High School, Connorville, and also at Mazeroski Park, Rayland. A portion of Ohio 7 in southern Jefferson County is named for him.
The former Jefferson County resident was honored further on his birthday anniversary Sept. 5 of this year when the Pirates unveiled a Mazeroski statue on Mazeroski Way outside PNC Park.
He is the third Pirate to be honored with statue. Also gaining this honor were Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell.
Not only did Mazeroski win eight Gold Gloves, but he led the National League in defensive categories 25 times, including eight straight years in double plays.
Pokas can be reached at email@example.com.
PITTSBURGH Pirate second baseman Bill Mazeroski became the toast of the baseball world Oct. 13, 1960, when he became the first player to ever strike a home run in the final inning of the final game game of the World Series. A few days later, he was honored on Mazeroski Day in the Tiltonsville-Rayland area where he grew up.