Published in The Tartan’s Scandal Issue, 3/29/2010: https://thetartan.org/2010/3/29/special/pirates
In a move not even science could predict, Pittsburgh Pirates owner Bob Nutting revealed last Friday why he wasn’t spending any significant money on improving the team: He was using the money to build a time machine. Nutting then offered a demonstration of the machine by traveling back 50 years ago to the most celebrated year in Pirates history, the year they won the World Series against the New York Yankees in stunning fashion.
Just to recap: the 1960 World Series saw the Yanks outscore the Pirates 55-27 with 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0 victories, but Pirates managed to pull it out with 6-4, 3-2, and 5-2 victories before a see-saw Game 7 that ended with Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski’s ninth inning home run to seal a 10-9 victory and win the World Series.
“[Mazeroski’s] famous home run did much more than win the World Series, it was a moment that has inspired our city and our region for 50 years,” said Nutting earlier this year in a press release on the team’s website. “It is a moment that continues to be passed on from generation to generation.”
However, it’s a moment that has now been struck from baseball history.
Once Nutting made it to 1960, he used his surplus cash to purchase the team from then-owner John Galbreath, convincing him that he “had come from the future with the secret to winning a championship.” Nutting immediately implemented the same methods he uses today in running the team: already knowing the outcome of the season and the Seri
es, he traded Mazeroski to the Yankees. Mazeroski, he said, because he hit the home run, might one day ask for more money because of it, even though history showed that “Maz” never did such a thing.
Logic would hope that Nutting would have at least traded Mazeroski for the Yanks’ equally light-hitting second baseman Bobby Richardson, who, like Maz, also demonstrated uncharacteristic power during the World Series when he drove in a record six runs during Game 3. But, as Pirates fans today know, Nutting doesn’t necessarily use the same logic as we do when it comes to baseball operations, and Mazeroski was traded for two Players to be Named Later.
“This is a move we deemed necessary not financially, but for the better of the team,” Nutting said as he faked his way through a press conference regarding the trade. “Bill was a great piece of this franchise, and we will miss him dearly. However, the players we will eventually receive from the Yankees are sure to play a part in the rebuilding of this franchise as we work our way back toward a championship. I promise.”
Mazeroski was not immediately available for comment, but a close friend quoted him as saying, “What the @#$% does that even mean?”
Nutting’s only response was, “Wait and see. You’ll thank me in 50 years.”
Fans today are still wondering what Nutting could have been talking about, as all the move has done is removed a treasured piece of baseball history and eradicated the 2010 plan to build a statue of Mazeroski outside PNC Park, saving the team a lot of money to not spend on players.
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