Brookline Little League Association
Pirates Day at Forbes Field - 1961

Picture of Kiwanis players
 with Pirate Bob Skinner in 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,
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - 8/6/1961, or provided by Elva McGibbeny.

Kiwanis players with Giant
 Sam Jones - 1961.

Sam "Toothpick" Jones

Kiwanis' pitching staff gets advice from San Franciso's Sam "Toothpick" Jones. Left to right: Mike Drake, 11; Kenny Magrini, 12; Danny McGibbeny, 10; Chuckie Miller, 12; Bobby Minick, 11, and Sam Jones, whose best advice was to "forget about throwing curves until you are older. Learn control and develop a fastball, holding it like this."

Pirate Smokey Burgess and
 Billy Altimore - 1961.

Smokey Burgess

Pirate's all-star catcher Smokey Burgess shows Kiwanis' catcher Billy Altimore how to crouch behind the plate and still be in position to make a throw to a base.

Kiwanis players with Pirate
 Roberto Clemente - 1961.

Roberto Clemente

1961 National League batting champion and Pirate all-time great Roberto Clemente shows Kiwanis' first-year player Jackie Onodi, 9, how to grip the bat. Looking on are PeeWee Esposito, 12, and Billy Fry, 11.

Kiwanis players with Pirate
 Don Hoak - 1961.

Don Hoak

Don Hoak looks over Kiwanis' infielders as he shakes hands with second baseman Billy Fry, 11. Pictured are (left to right) Danny McGibbeny, 10; Mike Drake, 11; Jackie Onodi, 9; Sammy Ceheer; Chuckie Miller, 12; Fry; Kenny Magrini, 12, and Hoak.

Kiwanis coaches with Pirate
 Vernon Law - 1961.

Vernon Law

Kiwanis' co-managers Smoky Rossa (left) and Pete Green (right) chat with Vernon Law. Smokey and Pete devote many hours to helping the youth of Brookline to learn the basic fundamentals of the National pastime.

Kiwanis players with Pirate
 manager Danny Murtaugh - 1961.

Danny Murtaugh

Kiwanis' players gather around as Pirate skipper Danny Murtaugh sizes up, and offers some valuable P's and Q's on the basic fundamentals of the game of baseball to, nine-year old Jackie Onodi. "Always use two hands, keep your eye on the ball and always try your best. Run hard and never, ever give up .... and always remember that it's only a game."

Sammy CeHeer and Billy
 Altimore with Pirate Smokey Burgess - 1961

Pirate Day 1961

Picture of the Pirate parrot
 mingling with Brookline fans - 1988.
The Pirate Parrot mingles
with Brookline faithful on
Pirate Day - 1988.

<BLLA History> <Brookline History>