"1960 Pittsburgh Pirates Day by Day" by Rick Cushing

1960 Pittsburgh Pirates Day by Day: A Special Season, An Extraordinary World Series
Rick Cushing
Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc. • $19.00

With the current (and ongoing) blight of the Pittsburgh Pirates, it’s probably hard for some fans (especially the younger ones) to remember that, for most of the 20th century, the Buccos were one heck of a ball club.

While fans (what few remain) wait for a return to dominance (which is certain to return, right?), they may want to consider taking a trip down memory lane, reliving, game by game, the 1960 season. But now, it’s possible, thanks to the tireless work of Rick Cushing, whose “Pirates roots trace to the 19th century and [his] paternal grandfather, Mike Cushing …[who not only was] at Exposition Park for the first World Series (1903), he was at newly built Forbes Field for the 1909 World Series when Honus Wagner faced Ty Cobb for the first and only time … He also was present for the 1925 and ’27 World Series, and in 1930 he became an usher for the Pirates at Forbes Field.”

The title of Cushing’s book, 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates Day By Day: A Special Season, An Extraordinary World Series, delivers exactly that—a glut of thoroughly researched and compiled reporting of the season that culminated with a seven-game World Series against the Yankees and Bill Mazeroski’s thrilling ninth-inning, game-winning home run. Cushing’s passion for the game (and the team) is apparent; he must have spent countless hours wading through old newspapers (the book is cobbled together using Pittsburgh’s daily papers, the Press and Post-Gazette, and in the weekly Pittsburgh Courier), along with the observations of many of the participating players and of a 12-year-old fan: the author.

And if that weren’t enough, Cushing sprinkles in a healthy dose of historical context, recounting John F. Kennedy’s run for the White House and the Steelers’ tumultuous season. Also included is a “Where are they now?” section complete with updates on the owners, managers, players, broadcasters and even Forbes Field (spoiler: it’s been torn down).

This is, without a doubt, for completists and fans looking for shot of nostalgia to get them through another season of rebuilding and waiting.