PITTSBURGH — Nearly six decades after his World Series-winning home run, Bill Mazeroski is stronger than ever in his role as a Pittsburgh sports icon.
On October 13, 1960, at 3:36 p.m., Mazeroski's life changed in a matter of seconds. His smooth swing on a 1-0 slider earned the Pirates a World Series title and made Maz an instant hero.
Channel 11's Alby Oxenreiter spent time with Maz reminiscing about the moment his life changed forever.
When his bat first made contact with the ball that fateful day, Mazeroski said he didn't immediately know what he'd done.
"I didn't know it was a home run. When I hit it, the first thing that came to mind (was), 'Well, Yogi was out there playing left field.' I said, 'He's not gonna get it,'" said Mazeroski.
He was right. Yankees left fielder Yogi Berra could only watch as the ball cleared the Forbes Field wall and Maz rounded the bases.
"When I hit second, I don't think I touched the ground all the way to home plate," said Maz.
Mazeroski said he still has to pinch himself, but he shies away from the spotlight that comes with the most famous World Series home run. He told Alby he finds himself surprised by the attention he's received over the years.
"Oh, I never dreamed it would like now, still be talking about it. Right now, still getting an interview. It's amazing. Completely boggles my mind," said Maz.
But, Maz admits it's a popular topic of conversation, saying he's asked about it just about every day. Despite the number of questions, Maz said he doesn't ever get tired of talking about it.
Now, 57 years after that home run, Mazeroski doesn't spend much time at the ballpark. Instead, he can be found three days a week on the golf course.
"I'm just a normal person. I'm not a country club guy or anything like that," said Maz.
But unlike most "normal" people, Maz's mad an historic home run that has been captured in pictures, paintings and immortalized in a bronze statue at the end of Mazeroski Way at PNC Park.
"Most statues are people who have died and gone. To be alive and have a statue is special," said Mazeroski. "I never dreamed that something like this would happen."
Hall of Famer and former Yankees star Mickey Mantle said losing the 1960 World Series was the biggest disappointment of his career. Mantle's teammate, fellow Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, summed up the '60 series with six words: "We made too many wrong mistakes."
Bill Mazeroski remains the only player to hit a World Series Game 7 walk-off home run.
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