Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski soon will be able to walk down Mazeroski Way on Pittsburgh's North Side and see a statue depicting him hitting one of baseball's most famous homers.
If a sad movie makes him cry, think how such a tribute feels to a man who, while growing up in a one-room house near Wheeling, W.Va., pretended to play baseball with a wooden stick and a rock because his family once couldn’t afford to buy him a ball and glove.
Mazeroski’s voice was shaky throughout a brief talk Friday as a miniature version of the statue that will be erected outside PNC Park in his honor was unveiled. Former teammates Bob Friend and Dick Groat watched nearby.
Mazeroski has received nearly every award and accolade a player can earn, but this was something special.
“All I wanted to do was play major league baseball,” Mazeroski said. “I played in the All-Star Game. I played in the World Series. I hit a home run that every little kid dreams of and 50 years later, they’re still proud and still talking about it. I got my number retired and, geez, I got in the Hall of Fame. I got a street named after you. Holy hell, how can you can get a life better than this?”
Now, he’s getting a statue that’s twice his size in real life.
The 12-foot statue will depict him rounding second base, his batting helmet raised high in his right hand, after hitting the homer that beat the heavily favored New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.
“I was flying,” Mazeroski recalled. “My feet didn’t hit the ground.”
Former Mariners right-hander Miguel Batista and the Washington Nationals have agreed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Batista went 7-4 with one save and a 4.04 ERA in 56 relief appearances for Seattle last season. …Texas Rangers right-hander Scott Feldman, a 17-game winner last season, agreed to a one-year contract worth $2,425,000 and avoided an arbitration hearing. … Blue Jays pitcher Dustin McGowan threw off a mound at Toronto’s spring training complex in Dunedin, Fla., as he attempts to come back from shoulder and knee surgery. The 27-year-old right-hander hasn’t pitched in a game since July 8, 2008, when he left a start against Baltimore with shoulder pain. … F ernando Tatis has agreed to an $850,000, one-year contract to stay with the New York Mets, who also gave a minor league contract to right-hander Josh Fogg. … Former All-Star reliever Derrick Turnbow agreed to a minor league contract with the Florida Marlins and will join their big league camp for spring training.