Bill Mazeroski

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File:Maz 1960 HR.jpg
Mazeroski's homer that wins the 1960 World Series

William Stanley Mazeroski (born September 5, 1936 in Wheeling, West Virginia), nicknamed "Maz", is a former Major League Baseball player. He is best known for being the first player in Major League history to win the World Series with a game-ending home run in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series.

Bill Mazeroski attended Warren Consolidated High School in Tiltonsville, Ohio and excelled in both baseball and basketball. He started on the varsity baseball team as a freshman.

Template:MLB HoF As a 17-year-old in 1954, Mazeroski signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team for which he would play his entire career. Originally signed as a shortstop, he was quickly moved to second base and made his Major League debut on July 7, 1956.

Mazeroski was noted for his defensive prowess and earned his first of eight Gold Glove Awards in 1958. He had a career .983 fielding percentage and led the National League in assists nine times, and holds the major league career record for double plays by a second baseman.

Despite his defensive play often overshadowing his offensive contributions, Mazeroski had several fine offensive seasons. In 1958, he hit .275, hit 19 home runs (a career best) and had 68 RBIs and was considered for the MVP Award. In 1966 he knocked in 82, a career best. During his peak seasons (1957-68), he drove in more runs than any other middle infielder of the period.

In the 1960 World Series, Mazeroski hit a game-winning home run off New York Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry which won the series for Pittsburgh. It was the first time a World Series had ever been ended by a home run and will likely remain the defining event of Mazeroski's career. (The feat has been accomplished once since, by Joe Carter in the 1993 World Series.) Today, the portion of the brick left field wall from Forbes Field where the home run ball carried remains erect as a historical monument on the University of Pittsburgh campus in Pittsburgh's Oakland District.

Mazeroski was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.

In a cameo appearance in The Odd Couple, Mazeroski hit into a game-ending triple play. However, according to the Society for American Baseball Research, Mazeroski never hit into a triple play in his career, but was part of two triple plays as a fielder.

Warren Consolidated High School has since joined other schools to form Buckeye Local High School in Rayland, Ohio. Buckeye Local honored him in 2003 naming their new baseball field after him and placing a monument behind home plate, near the road.

Quotation

  • In 1966 and 1967, Mazeroski and shortstop Gene Alley won two Gold Gloves, joining a select list of eight shortstop-second baseman duos have won the honor in the same season while playing together.

See also

Accomplishments

External links