Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 35: Forbes Field

On June 23, 2009, we went to the site of the former Forbes Field after seeing the Homestead Gray’s West Field. Forbes Field is significant in general baseball history because it was the first all steel and concrete ballpark. Pittsburgh sports history wise is it significant for being the site of four World Series (1909, 1925, 1927, and 1960) including a Game 7 game winning homer by Bill Mazeroski on October 13, 1960. During its use from 1909 to 1972 Forbes Field was not only used by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but also the Negro Leagues Homestead Grays, the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Pitt Panthers.

What is left of Forbes Field is on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The main thing left is part of the outfield wall. Part of it up on a small hill is intact as it would have been when Forbes Field was used including a few spots with the distance markers on them (note one section with the distance number is at the Pirates current park, PNC Park). The rest of the outfield wall can be followed via a brick line in the sidewalk and brick benches along were the wall once stood. Behind the wall that still stands there is a replica of the original Forbes Field entrance.

There is also supposed to be the original home plate from the final game played at Forbes Field located inside a nearby building about where it once was, but I did not feel trying to locate it and wanted to get to the game early to try to find the historic marker for Three Rivers Stadium, which in the end we did not locate because of where we ended up parking and arriving close to when the gates opened for the game.

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