Shannon Reed | Longreads | October 2017 | 16 minutes (3,891 words)

All Pittsburghers, even those who can’t be bothered with baseball, know what happened on October 13, 1960: the Pirates’ second baseman, Bill Mazeroski, hit a walk-off home run, which shot over the left field fence of Forbes Field in Oakland, and into history, securing for the Pirates the World Series in the seventh game. In the photos of Mazeroski rounding third and heading for home, the joy is palpable, as teammates and fans rush toward him, arms extended, faces actually aglow. Forbes Field, where the game was played, arches upward in the background, almost like a sanctuary; apt, because that home run was miraculous. The city exploded with happiness.

I was born 14 years too late to witness it, but grew up in a Pirates-loving household two hours east of Pittsburgh. People in Johnstown still talked about Mazeroski’s…

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