Last night I took the overnight bus to from Champaign, IL to Pittsburgh. I’m here for the weekend to see an old friend but that doesn’t mean I can stay away from baseball.
PNC Park greeted me as I woke up this morning. It was on the other side of the Allegheny River as our bus rode into town. In my opinion, it’s one of the best new baseball parks I’ve been to. I saw a Pirate-Reds game there some eight years ago. It’s like they did everything just right. Now, I haven’t been to Miller Park yet and I’ve heard the same about that stadium so maybe the jury’s out yet.
But that’s just their fancy new fangled stadium. Turns out my friend works at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh which is practically across the street from where old Forbes Field stood. While he worked, I went exploring…
There is a nice sign where Forbes Field’s outfield used to be, commemorating the old stadium and what it stood for.
People can still see the original centerfield and right field walls.
The 436 ft. mark of right field.
A University of Pittsburgh student building now stands where Forbes Field’s home plate is but thankfully, they have left preserved the home plate used in its last season in its exact location.
There’s Mazeroski, of course. Every Pirate fan and anyone who knows baseball is familiar with that story. But there’s also the story of Babe Ruth’s last three homeruns, 712, 713, and 714 which were hit at Forbes Field. There’s a bit of controversy surrounding this. Early reports of Ruth’s final homerun’s landing spot has it in foul territory.
Original accounts from the Pittsburgh Press indicate that the ball scorched to earth, hitting a rooftop at 318 Bouquet St., in the city’s Oakland section, some 600 feet from home plate. Except that there’s a knot in that yarn: Bouquet Street was in foul territory. No one contests that the home run was legitimate, nor is their any argument that it was a titanic blast. But further research has indicated that No. 714 — the last of three Ruth hit that afternoon in an 11-7 Boston Braves loss to the Pirates — most likely touched down behind the right field fence on Joncaire Street and either ended up in a backyard on that street or bounced down the steep hill toward Panther Hollow and was chased down by a small group of boys.
An interesting story nonetheless.
 I’ve added a few more photos from the Forbes Field area.