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Baseball player William (Bill) Stanley Mazeroski was born in Wheeling on September 5, 1936. His family lived just across the Ohio River in Rush Run, Ohio. He grew up in a one-room house, frequently fishing in the Ohio River to feed his family. In high school he excelled in baseball and basketball; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Branch Rickey signed him at age 17.

Playing second base, Mazeroski was particularly noted for his defensive play. Between 1958 and 1967, he won eight Gold Glove Awards for his fielding. He led the National League in double plays for eight straight years, and currently holds the double plays records for a second baseman both in a season (161) and in a career (1706).

Mazeroski was also a talented batter, amassing 2016 hits during his career. His combination of defensive and offensive skills led to ten All-Star Game appearances. He is most noted for his World Series-winning home run in 1960. With the Pirates and the New York Yankees tied at three games apiece, the score was tied as Mazeroski came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning. On the second pitch, he hit a fly ball over the left field wall to win the championship. Mazeroski’s home run, and the ensuing celebration, is one of baseball’s most famous events, and is the only time to date that the World Series has been decided by a walk-off homer in game seven.

Mazeroski’s feat was recognized with the Sporting News Major League Player of the Year Award and Major League Baseball’s Babe Ruth Award for most valuable player in the World Series. He continued to play until retiring in 1972, having spent all 17 seasons with the Pirates.

Bill Mazeroski was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001. He remains connected to the Pirates organization, spending time with the team during spring training each year. He and his wife Milene have two children, David and Darren.

This Article was written by Kevin Hogg

Last Revised on August 30, 2021


Sources

Bird, John T.. Twin Killing: The Bill Mazeroski Story. Birmingham, AL: Esmerelda Press, 1995.

Dvorchak, Robert. Bill Mazeroski Touches Home when He Gets to Cooperstown. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 29, 2001.

Cite This Article

Hogg, Kevin "Bill Mazeroski." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 30 August 2021. Web. 26 September 2021.

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