Pirates' Blass accomplishes rare feat
HOUSTON -- Pirates broadcaster and former pitcher Steve Blass has two more game balls to add to his collection.
On Thursday, Blass recorded a pair of holes-in-one during the annual Pirates alumni golf outing at Greensburg Country Club. Several former players, including Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski, were at the event.
"It's the first time I signed more autographs than Maz," Blass said. "And it'll probably be the last."
For his first ace of the day, Blass used an 8-iron at the 154-yard, par-3 15th hole. His second hole-in-one came with a 7-iron on No. 7, a 175-yard, par-3 hole. Due to the format, Blass' group of five started on the back nine.
"When he made the first one, I went up and congratulated him," said Jim McGrath, head golf pro at Greensburg Country Club. "When I heard he did it again ... that's unreal. I've had guys make two holes-in-one in the same year, and that's a rare feat in itself."
According to Golf Digest, the odds of a golfer making two holes-in-one in the same round are 1 in 67 million.
Yesterday, the Pirates' clubhouse was buzzing about Blass' golf version of a double play.
"I don't think it's a coincidence that Steve sang 'Happy Birthday' to Arnold Palmer, then two days later he gets two holes-in-one," broadcaster Tim Neverett said.
On Tuesday, the Pirates celebrated Palmer's 80th birthday at PNC Park.
Greg Brown, the team's play-by-play announcer, recalled Blass' first hole-in-one. Blass did it during spring training in 1996 when he, Brown and Bob Walk played a course near Bradenton, Fla.
"They both jumped on top of me," Walk said.
"I was thinking, 'This is what it must have felt like when they won the '71 World Series,' " Brown said. "On the next hole, he hit the (hole-in-one) ball into the weeds, and we never found it."
Blass was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the 1971 World Series, throwing a four-hitter in a 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
Blass' baseball career ended a few years later, when he inexplicably lost the ability to consistently throw strikes. Even now, folks around baseball talk about "Steve Blass disease" when a pitcher struggles with his control.
On Thursday, Blass, 67, had no such problems on the links.
"I can finally make some kind of ball go where I want it to," Blass said. "Maybe it's a sign from above that I should start pitching again."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- Pirates trust eye test when voting for all-stars
- Biertempfel: Loss of All-Star paper ballots a blow to nostalgia
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Indians, July 5, 2015
- Pirates notebook: Taillon headed for surgery, Richard traded
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Indians, July 4, 2015
- Pirates can’t overcome long rain delay, Indians in interleague setback
- Pirates notebook: Pitchers’ ploys force Kang to adapt