Clio Logo

This statue commemorates Pittsburgh Pirates Hall-of-Fame second baseman Bill Mazeroski (1936-) and one of the most memorable moments in baseball history. A native of Wheeling, West Virginia, he spent his entire seventeen-year major league career with the Pirates, over the course of which he built a solid case for being one of the greatest defensive players of all time. Mazeroski won eight Gold Glove Awards and made ten All-Star Game appearances. He led all National League second basemen in assists nine times, double plays eight times, putouts five times, and fielding percentage three times. Ironically, one of the greatest fielders in baseball history is best remembered for one shining moment at the plate, his walk-off, series-clinching homerun against the New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of Mazeroski’s ninth-inning World Series heroics, the Pirates unveiled a statue of him outside PNC’s Park’s Right Field Gate on September 5, 2010, Mazeroski’s seventy-fourth birthday. Designed by artist Susan Wagner, who also completed the statues of Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell that surround PNC Park, the twelve-foot-tall bronze sculpture depicts Mazeroski rounding second base, jumping for joy with his batting helmet in his right hand, after hitting the game-winning homerun. Wagner modeled it after a photograph taken by James Klingensmith of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Behind the sculpture is a small section of the original Forbes Field wall, over which Mazeroski homered that day.


  • Sky, Human body, Sculpture, Statue
  • Sports uniform, Sports equipment, Bat-and-ball games, Baseball player
  • Daytime, Vertebrate, Building, Sculpture

William Stanley Mazeroski was born into a small, working-class family on September 5, 1936 in Wheeling, West Virginia. The son of a coal miner of Polish descent, he went fishing almost daily to help provide food for his family, earning him the nickname “Catfish.” While attending Warren Consolidated High School in Tiltonville, Ohio, Mazeroski excelled at basketball and baseball. As a senior, he averaged twenty-seven points per game playing center for the school’s basketball team. Consequently, Mazeroski was named to the All-Ohio State Basketball Team and received scholarship offers from Ohio State University, Duquesne University, and West Virginia University. Baseball, however, was his favorite sport. Mazeroski was a four-year starter for the school’s baseball team, playing mostly pitcher and shortstop. He eventually became captain and led the team to the state championship tournament. 

After graduating from high school, Mazeroski received offers from a handful of major league clubs, including the Cleveland Indians and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Despite being an Indians fan since childhood, he decided to sign with the Pirates, the only organization that wanted to start the young infielder in Class A of the minor leagues. Not long into his stay in the minors, due to an abundance of shortstops within the Pirates farm system, Mazeroski moved to second base. In the middle of the 1967 season, at the age of nineteen, he was called up and made his major league debut on July 7 against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. 

In the end, Mazeroski spent his entire seventeen-year major league career with the Pirates, over the course of which he built a solid case for being one of the greatest defensive players of all time. He won eight Gold Glove Awards and made ten All-Star Game appearances. Mazeroski led all National League second basemen in assists nine times, double plays eight times, putouts five times, and fielding percentage three times. Following the 1972 season, he retired and embarked on a brief coaching career. Mazeroski served as the Pirates third base coach the next season before holding the same job title for the Seattle Mariners during the 1979 and 1980 seasons. In 2001, the Veterans Committee elected him to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Ironically, one of the greatest fielders in baseball history is best remembered for one shining moment at the plate. Leading off the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, Mazeroski took a 1-0 pitch from New York Yankees right-hander Ralph Terry over the left field wall at Forbes Field to break a nine-to-nine tie and win the series for the Pirates. The first walk-off, series-clinching homerun in World Series history, it secured the club its first World Series title in thirty-five years. With Mazeroski’s help, the Pirates would go on to win another eleven years later in 1971. 

To mark the fiftieth anniversary of Mazeroski’s ninth-inning World Series heroics, the Pirates unveiled a statue of him outside PNC’s Park’s Right Field Gate on September 5, 2010, Mazeroski’s seventy-fourth birthday. Designed by artist Susan Wagner, who also completed the statues of Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell that surround PNC Park, the twelve-foot-tall bronze sculpture depicts Mazeroski rounding second base, jumping for joy with his batting helmet in his right hand, after hitting the game-winning homerun. Wagner modeled it after a photograph taken by James Klingensmith of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Behind the sculpture is a small section of the original Forbes Field wall, over which Mazeroski homered that day. 

Berry, Adam. "History Behind Pirates Statues at PNC Park: Wagner, Clemente, Stargell, Mazeroski Immortalized in Bronze." mlb.com. Major League Baseball. 5 December 2020. Web. 6 June 2021 <https://www.mlb.com/news/pirates-statues-at-pnc-park-history>.

"Bill Mazeroski." baseballhall.org. National Baseball Hall of Fame. Web. 6 June 2021 <https://baseballhall.org/hall-of-famers/mazeroski-bill>.

Hurte, Bob. "Bill Mazeroski." saber.org. Society for American Baseball Research. Web. 6 June 2021 <https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/bill-mazeroski/>.

"Pirates Unveil Bill Mazeroski Statue." espn.com. ESPN. 5 September 2010. Web. 6 June 2021 <https://www.espn.com/mlb/news/story?id=5536653>.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://wgntv.com/sports/pittsburgh-opening-day-cub-pics/

https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/pirates/2010/01/28/Mazeroski-on-statue-plan-Couldn-t-believe-it/stories/201001280510

http://www.brooklineconnection.com/history/Facts/PNCPark.html