Pirates Day at Forbes Field - 1961
Click on images for larger pictures.
Back in the early sixties, with the help of Post-Gazette sportswriter Dan McGibbeny and chief photographer Jim Klingensmith, children in the Brookline baseball program were occasionally treated to a Pirate game at Forbes Field. One such occasion was July 1, 1961, when members of the Kiwanis Club Little League team saw the Pittsburgh Pirates play the San Franciso Giants.
The photo above shows Pirate left fielder Bob Skinner instructing Kiwanis outfielders (from left to right) PeeWee Esposito, 12; Jackie Onodi, 9; Danny McGibbeny, 10; Kevin Jeswald, 11, and Jackie Mitchell, 10. The photos below show Kiwanis players mingling with other Pirate greats, like Danny Murtaugh, Smokey Burgess and Roberto Clemente.
Today, nearly forty years later, the Pirates are still busy instructing our local children. Over the past several years the Pirates have sent players, coaches, and even the zany Pirate Parrot, off to neighborhood baseball camps for a day with the kids. Brookline has been the site of many such events, and several field trips to see Pirate games, like the 2005 event at PNC Park.
But, nothing could beat meeting the players at the major league ballpark on a hot summer afternoon. When Mr. McGibbeny took a team to the game, there were locker room visits, dugout conversations with the players, lots of pictures, souvenirs and plenty of snacks! On one such occasion in 1971, at Three Rivers Stadium, I was privilieged to have a photo taken with Bill Mazeroski and Roberto Clemente. That was the "Pirate Day" I'll never forget.
Photos and captions reprinted from the Brookline
Journal - 9/14/1961,
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