Friday, October 15, 2010

School days and Maz's home run
The recent 50th anniversary of Bill Mazeroski's World Series-winning home run against the New York Yankees in 1960 brought back memories of that day in the seventh-grade classroom at St. Cyril's school in Encino.
That year, a new kid came to our class. His name was Bill Latrielle and his father was an executive at Westinghouse Co., which owned the Pittsburgh Pirates. Most of the guys in our class didn't know too much about the Pirates, other than they played in faraway Pennsylvania. But as we got to be friends with Bill, he would bring Pirate souvenirs to school, such as pennants, bumper stickers and photos of the Pirate players, like Dick Groat and Don Hoak. Pretty soon there were a lot of "Beat 'Em Bucs" emblems pasted on our notebooks.
It was a school day when the Pirates and Yankees played the seventh game, so we couldn't watch it on TV. One of our classmates, Bill Barci, had a transistor radio in his back pocket and he ran the ear-piece wire up the inside of his shirt so that he could listen in class.
Our teacher, Sr. Jean-Pierre, called on him to answer a question, and at first he didn't hear her. She asked him again and when he realized that she was talking to him, he jumped out of his seat and the radio went flying out of his pants, crashing on the floor. Needless to say, it was very funny.
When I got home from school, my Dad, who had watched the 9th inning, gave me a recap of Mazeroski's dramatic at-bat against Ralph Terry, and it never gets old watching the old black-and-white video of the Pirates second baseman rounding the bases in Forbes Field.

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