PITTSBURGH -- Bill Mazeroski has been losing sleep over the Pirates -- in a good way.
"I watch just about every game on TV. I even stay up later than I usually do when they're on the coast, or in the Midwest somewhere," the iconic former Pittsburgh second baseman said Wednesday at PNC Park. "It's fun, it really is. It's really exciting to hear people talking about the Pittsburgh Pirates again -- everybody, I don't care where you go. Grocery store, bar.
"I hope they keep it up ... and get an extra-base hit now and then, that would be wonderful."
Mazeroski, 77, made a rare visit to the Bucs' yard to announce an upcoming auction of some of his personal memorabilia, much of it tied to his 1960 World Series-winning walk-off homer in Game 7 against the Yankees. Some of the items to go on auction on Nov. 9 during Hunt Auctions' event at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory were on display, as they will be the rest of this week at the left-field rotunda section of PNC Park.
Making clear that he is retaining a lot of other personal artifacts, Mazeroski said "the timing was ideal to share [part of his collection] with the public, especially considering the excitement surrounding the current team."
It is Mazeroski's hope that some of the current Pirates will soon be in a position to spawn the type of memorabilia he has made available for the auction: his uniform, bat and bronzed spikes from Game 7 of the '60 Series; Gold Glove Awards from 1958, 1963-67; and his 1960 World Series MVP Award, among many other items.
"They're on the same kind of track we were," said Mazeroski, recalling that in 1960, "it was like 35 years since they won anything in Pittsburgh. They got their lineup set up, good pitching. They're right there; put it all together, and we'll get it done."
Asked if he could offer any advice to members of this team who had never before found themselves in mid-September and in a pennant race, Mazeroski sounded like manager Clint Hurdle:
"Just be yourself. Don't add anything to it. It's hard enough to play this game normally. Don't look at the moment, just do the same thing you always do. If you try to overdo or overthink it as something else, try a little extra, it gets worse. You've got to be yourself."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less