PNC Park
The Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates

PNC Park - home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pittsburgh Pirates moved into their new home at PNC Park in the spring of 2001. The stadium, which replaced Three Rivers Stadium, was built next to the Sixth Street Bridge, now known as the Roberto Clemente Bridge. The span is closed on game days to vehicular traffic. This new state-of-the-art complex gave the Pittsburgh Pirates the means necessary to remain financially viable in the ever-fickle world of Major League Baseball, not to mention presenting another startling scenic addition to the Pittsburgh riverfront.

PNC Park.

PNC Park is loaded with amenities and attractions that add to the experience of going to a baseball game. There are several fine restaurants and it's hard to find a seat with a bad view. The stadium is a throwback to the old ballyards, and rated as one of the finest in the league. The Pittsburgh skyline provides a wonderful backdrop. In the evening, the city lights shine brightly, adding luster to a spectacular visual experience. PNC Park is a great place to watch a ballgame.

Statue of Roberto Clemente by the Clemente Bridge.
The Roberto Clemente monument stands next to the bridge that bears his name.

The stadium has all natural turf and the game setting is in many ways similar to the Forbes Field era of Pirate baseball, with all the benefits of 21st century technology. The complex is full of reminders that honor the Pirates long heritage. Bronze statues of Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell, Honus Wagner and Roberto Clemente adorn the entrances and banners depicting other Pirate greats line the adjacent streets. Inside are monuments honoring the heritage of the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays.

Statue of Honus Wagner outside
the main park entrance.
The Honus Wagner monument stands at the main entrance to PNC Park.

The addition of PNC Park and Heinz Field, the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, to the north shore has spurred development along the riverfront. The transformation has redrawn the city landscape. The Pirates hope that the classic look of PNC Park helps spur their transition back into a playoff contender. It's time to bring alive that classic Bucco magic experienced when Roberto, The Lumber Company, Captain Willie and The Family helped make Three Rivers Stadium synonymous with success.

PNC Park.

For More Interesting Facts on Pittsburgh Sports Stadiums (past and present),
visit
Fun Facts About Pittsburgh's Ball Parks.

Wikipedia: PNC Park.

Pennant from the first series at
PNC Park March 31-April 1, 2001

Concerts, Festivals and Skyblasts

The Rolling Stones stage setup in PNC Park - September 2005

PNC Park is also home to several other events, like concerts and festivals. In September, 2005, the Rolling Stones brought their massive stage and rocked the 'Burgh with their time honored classics. The show was a sellout, and thousands of other fans lined the north shore to get a taste of rock 'n roll history. Several times during the season, the Pirates will put on a show called SkyBlast. A concert is held after the game, followed by a stunning fireworks display.

SkyBlast at PNC Park.
Post-Gazette Photo - 2005
Fireworks light up the sky during SkyBlast at PNC Park - May 2005.

The Four Ballparks on the North Shore

Exposition Park
The four stadiums that have occupied the north shore since 1890. Exposition Park stood until 1915.
Three Rivers was there from 1968 to 2001. The current stadiums, PNC Park and Heinz Field,
were both built in 2000. Each of the stadiums has a rich Pittsburgh sports history.
Thanks to Doug Brendel for creating the four-ballpark image.




The Bill Mazeroski Monument
A Tribute To Maz - September 5, 2010

* Article written by Clint Burton for publication by Matthews International - September 2010 *

Bill Mazeroski speaks at statue dedication.
Photo by Doug Brendel - September 5, 2010.

The Pittsburgh Pirates began their 124th year in Major League baseball at the start of the 2010 season. The franchise has built a proud legacy over the years, with five World Series championships and forty-one Hall of Fame members. Among the vast array of Pirate memories there was one moment that seemed to define the spirit of the organization and the pride of the Pittsburgh community.

It happened on October 13, 1960. It was Game Seven of the World Series. The underdog Pirates were playing the mighty New York Yankees. The game was tied 9-9 when the Pirates came to bat in the bottom half of the ninth inning. The leadoff batter was 24-year old Bill Mazeroski, a fourth-year second baseman known more for his outstanding fielding abilities than his power at the plate.

The Shot Heard 'Round The 'Burgh - 1960

Mazeroski swung at the second pitch. He hit a long drive towards left-center field. Yankee outfielder Yogi Berra followed the ball to the wall and watched as it flew over the 406-foot marker. With one swing, Mazeroski crowned the Pirates World Champions. It was the "shot heard 'round the 'Burgh." It became the most treasured moment in Pittsburgh Pirate history.

On September 5, 2010, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the 1960 World Series Championship, the Pirate organization unveiled a 12-foot bronze statue of Bill Mazeroski outside the right-field entrance to PNC Park. The pose for the statue is of Maz rounding second base after hitting the home run, culled from a photograph by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's James G. Klingensmith.

A moment frozen in time.    A moment frozen in time.

Erected on a cul-de-sac at the end of Mazeroski Way, the monument is part of a larger display that includes a concrete base, shaped and colored to resemble infield dirt. An enlarged second-base bag includes historical information about the tribute, and a section of the original Forbes Field wall, over which the ball sailed into history, serves as a backdrop.

The new statue unveiled for all to see.

The statue was created by Pittsburgh sculptor Susan Wagner, who also made the Roberto Clemente (1994) and Willie Stargell (2001) monuments that adorn the entranceways to PNC Park. Clemente's statue stands at the center-field entrance and Stargell's is at the left-field gate. A fourth statue of Honus Wagner (1955), stands at the home plate entrance.

Matthews International was chosen by the Pirates to cast the statue. It was sculpted at Matthews IDL Worldwide location in East Butler. The actual bronze cast was made at Matthews' Caggiati plant in Italy. Transported to the PNC Park location in two parts, the statue and display were erected during July and August at a cost of $450,000.

  

<See Construction Photos>

The eagerly anticipated September 5th "Tribute to Maz" occurred prior to the Pirates game against the Washington Nationals. The date was chosen not only to coincide with the 50th anniversary festivities, but also to honor Bill Mazeroski on his 74th birthday.

Plans for the tribute were announced on January 29, 2010, with Pirate owner Bob Nutting presenting Mazeroski with a 14-inch model of the proposed statue.

"Bill's story is so inspirational, not only for his Hall of Fame career but also for the way he has continued to represent himself and the Pirates," Nutting said. "I'm thrilled that, soon, our fans will have a special place outside PNC Park to remember and share his story."

Bill Mazeroski with a model of the new statue.

Mazeroski's playing career lasted 17 seasons, from 1956 to 1972. He was an eight-time Gold Glove winner, seven-time All-Star, twice World Champion and holder of several Major League records for second baseman. His uniform (#9) was retired in 1987 and he was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.

At the January announcement, Mazeroski reflected, "All I wanted to do was play Major League baseball. I played in the All-Star game. I played in the World Series. I hit a home run that every little kid dreams of and fifty years later, they're still proud and still talking about it. I got my number retired and, geez, I got in the Hall of Fame. You get a street named after you. How can life get better than this?"

Bill Mazeroski speaks at statue dedication.

Now, Bill Mazeroski has a statue that's twice his size in real life. What better tribute to a man who became a hero to generations and an icon to the city that will forever adore him.

Learn more about MAZ, Forbes Field
and The Shot Heard 'Round The 'Burgh

Bill Mazeroski - A Pirate Legend




Construction Photos (July-August 2010)

Artist's Conception   

  

  

  

  

  

  

September 5, 2010    September 5, 2010

September 5, 2010

* Photos provided by Jessie Cook, Terry Feathers and Doug Brendel *

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