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Bucs host Game 7 Gang for 60th anniversary

@mattkellyMLB
October 13, 2020

Six decades have passed since Bill Mazeroski shocked the Yankees and the sporting world with one swing of the bat, but that moment still resonates in the proud city of Pittsburgh. Members of the self-titled “Game 7 Gang,” a group of Pirates fans that gather each year to celebrate the

Six decades have passed since Bill Mazeroski shocked the Yankees and the sporting world with one swing of the bat, but that moment still resonates in the proud city of Pittsburgh.

Members of the self-titled “Game 7 Gang,” a group of Pirates fans that gather each year to celebrate the anniversary of Mazeroski’s title-clinching, walk-off home run in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, came together at PNC Park on Tuesday to celebrate the moment’s 60th anniversary.

The “Game 7 Gang” has met each year since 2007 at the remaining section of the Forbes Field outfield wall in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood to commemorate Maz’s homer, but it was unable to gather there safely this year due to the pandemic. The Pirates filled the gap, hosting the “Gang” at their ballpark for a socially-distanced get-together to ensure the tradition stayed alive.

“It’s a nice view and the second-best place for us to [re-live] the game,” said “Game 7 Gang” member Dan Schultz. “We really appreciate it. We were planning on not having this due to COVID-19, but the Pirates organization stepped up to the plate and saved the day for us so we could at least have something and keep our tradition every year.”

Nearly 30 members of the “Game 7 Gang” congregated on the PNC Park field and listened to the original radio broadcast of that famous World Series contest in its entirety. They were joined by Pirates president Travis Williams and members of the team’s staff.

Mazeroski, a traditionally light-hitting second baseman revered more for his Gold Glove Award-caliber defense than his bat, delivered a World Series championship to the Pirates when he hit a solo homer off Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 of the 1960 Fall Classic. The Yankees outscored the Pirates over the Series, 55-27, but Pittsburgh took home the title thanks to Mazeroski’s blast -- still the only Game 7 walk-off homer in World Series history.

Though so many years have passed, the day still means a lot to many Pittsburgh citizens. “Game 7 Gang” member Renee Abel left work early after Mazeroski’s homer to celebrate, and she met her future husband amid the postgame frenzy. They were engaged exactly one year later on the anniversary, and Abel has made the pilgrimage to the Forbes Field wall each year since 1994.

“It is a special day,” said Abel, whose husband is now deceased. “And it’s always a gorgeous day, so he’s looking down on us and gave a nice day for today.”

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.