In 1909, Pittsburgh Pirates president Barney Dreyfuss began construction on a new facility for his team in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. Dreyfuss decided to call his palacethe first concrete and steel facility built in the National LeagueForbes Field, after the British general John Forbes, a hero in the French and Indian War. Opened on June 20, 1909, Forbes Field was a hit from the onset; the venue hosted large crowds that came to watch the Pirates win in their first World Series against the Detroit Tigers that year. As the years went on, Forbes Field became synonymous with the greatest sports memories in the city’s history. Patrons saw the trials and tribulations of the Steelers as well as some of the greatest collegiate football teams in the history of the game. The University of Pittsburgh won three collegiate football national championships, and Duquesne University and Carnegie Tech also fielded many winning teams while calling Forbes Field home. Alongside football, boxing was a constant event at the famed facility, hosting some of the most memorable pugilists this city has ever produced. Above all else, it was a baseball mecca. While the field is no longer in use, the wall remains intact, reminding Pittsburghers of the field’s rich history.
About the Author
David Finoli lives in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. He has penned 11 books, many of which focus on the history of sports in western Pennsylvania. Tom Aikens was born and raised in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Aikens is a newspaper veteran as well as an author of a book on the history of football in nearby Latrobe.
Table of Contents
1 1909: From Floods to Oakland 9
2 1910-1930: National Championships and World Series 23
3 1931-1950: More than Just Baseball 47
4 1951-1959: The Basement 71
5 1960: World Champions 91
6 1961-1970: Sad Endings and New Beginnings 105
7 1971-Present: The Years Since 117