Pirate legend Mazeroski to auction 1960 World Series memorabilia
After smacking the most famous home run in Pirates history, Bill Mazeroski took off his uniform, folded it and put it in storage. During the next 53 years, he took it out once.
“I just looked at it to make sure the mothballs were working,” Mazeroski said with a laugh.
That white home jersey — bearing champagne stains from the clubhouse celebration after Game 7 of the 1960 World Series — soon will be up for bid. Mazeroski will put the uniform, a bronzed bat and cleats from that historic game on the auction block.
Hunt Auctions in Exton will conduct the sale on Nov. 9 in the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory in Kentucky. Mazeroski will sell six of his eight Gold Glove Awards, his 1960 Babe Ruth Award — given by baseball writers to the player deemed to have had the best postseason performance — and a bat that Roberto Clemente gave him.
A portion of the auction proceeds will go to Pirates Charities.
“I've lived these moments for 50-some years. I felt like it's a good time to do it,” said Mazeroski, 77.
He acknowledged that it will be difficult to part with his memorabilia, especially items that mark his walkoff homer that helped the Pirates beat the New York Yankees in the World Series. But after keeping his gear hidden away for so long — “My wife told me that all I should say is that it was in a safe place,” he said — he wants to share it with fans.
“I'm keeping a lot of stuff, too. I won't sell my rings or anything like that,” he said.
The auction items will be on display near the left-field rotunda in PNC Park until Sunday.
David Hunt, president of Hunt Auctions, wouldn't divulge the value of Mazeroski's Game 7 uniform other than to say it “should be in multiple six figures.” The Clemente bat is valued at $30,000 to $40,000. The Gold Glove Awards are worth $10,000 to $20,000 each.
Hunt said the auction is more than bringing in dollars: “We want to show the fans of today what it was like to play when Bill played.”
Mazeroski does not have the ball he hit off Yankees right-hander Ralph Terry for the climactic homer. No one knows where it is.
“I had seven or eight different balls offered to me after the game,” Mazeroski said. “They all said it was the ball. And they all wanted 50 bucks or something.”