Obit of the Day: Capturing Pure Joy
October 13, 1960. World Series. Forbes Field. Yankees vs. Pirates. Game 7. Bottom of the ninth. Tied, 9-9. No outs. No one on. Ralph Terry on the mound. Second baseman Bill Mazeroski at the plate.
One pitch. Mazeroski homers. The first World Series-winning walk-off home run. And James Klingensmith nearly missed it.
Klingensmith, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette photographer, and his nine-year-old son, also James, were on the Forbes Field roof. They had climbed up a ladder to reach the secluded spot, taking the ladder up with them to keep other photographers away. (Although Klingensmith claimed it was for safety, his son called him out on it. Way to keep dad honest.)
When Maz homered, Klingensmith became a fan and cheered wildly until his son reminded him what he was there to do and he caught the Pirates newest hero rounding second base - an iconic moment. The photo was eventually used as the model for the Bill Mazeroski statue outside of the Pirates’ current home, PNC Park.
Klingensmith, who captured scenes of Pittsburgh for 42 years, passed away at the age of 100.
(Photo copyright James G. Klingensmith/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette courtesy of soncountry.net)