Nobody can be a true sports fan unless he or she knows the history of the sport in question. A genuine baseball fan, for example, notes the passing not only of the members of the Hall of Fame but also of those who played a key role in baseball history.
So when a friend emailed me on Monday night to inform me of the passing of Gino Cimoli, I felt a genuine sense of sadness. Gino was an average hitter, but a very good outfielder defensively. I will always most remember him, however, for the role he played as the "head cheerleader" for the 1960 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates – and for his key moment in baseball history in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series – in my opinion, the greatest World Series game ever played.
I grew up in Pittsburgh, and I experienced the joy of three Pirate World Series championships and six Steeler Super Bowl victories. I attended the first game ever played by the Pittsburgh Penguins in Oct. 1967, and since then, the Penguins have won three Stanley Cups.
Yet while pro football is my favorite sport, the most indelible memory of my youth in Pittsburgh will always be the 1960 World Series triumph of the Buccos. That's right, the Buccos! That's what real Pittsburgh fans called the Pirates.