My father grew up in Western Pennsylvania and rooted for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He raised me to be a Pirates fan even though we lived in Northern Virginia, within one hour of Baltimore, MD. It's been tough being a Pirates fan over the last sixteen losing seasons but it will make their resurgence that much sweeter whenever that day comes.
My father always told me stories about the 1960 Pirates team when I was growing up. Most of the stories were about Roberto Clemente but the best stories were about the 1960 World Series and the Pirates' improbable victory over the New York Yankees.
The name Bill Mazeroski always brought a smile to my father's face. About 10 years ago I dragged my father to a baseball card show with me, not telling him that Mazeroski was there signing autographs. He wondered what we were standing in line so long for but understood once he could see who was sitting at the table at the end of the line. I think it's the only time in my life that I saw my father in awe of something or someone. We both got baseballs autographed and my father traded a couple of stories with Mazeroski. Mazeroski couldn't have been nicer. It was a really special moment to share with my father.
I've been sending autograph requests through the mail for a couple months now and I was running out of ideas for new requests. Last weekend it hit me. I'm going to try and get every living member of the 1960 Pirates team on their 1960 Topps cards. I checked success rates on sportscollectors.net and it seems like this is a realistic project. There are only four players with low success rates, the rest are 80% or above. There are three players that didn't have a 1960 Topps card so I'll have to find another card for them.
I'm still trying to think of ways to display this but gathering all the cards and sending out the requests is my main focus right now. Once completed, I'll give this to my father as a gift. His birthday is in June so I'm really hustling to get all the cards and get them in the mail.
I will update my successes as they come in. If anyone has any cool ideas on how to display the cards I'd love to hear them. Leave them in the comments.