Saturday, October 07, 2006

Meeting the '71 World Series hero

Great day in Connecticut today. Met Steve Blass, the hero of the Pittsburgh Pirates' 1971 World Series victory over Baltimore. Blass was honored in his hometown of Canaan, Conn. The good folks there dedicated the Little League field there in his honor. It was a scene straight out of Norman Rockwell. Crisp fall weather. Blue skies. Local dignataries reading proclamations from the governor and President Bush. Little Leaguers listening in rapt attention as Blass spoke of his own playing days in the '50s on the same small ballfield in Canaan. Blass, who signed autographs after all the speeches, was one of my early baseball heroes growing up in suburban Pittsburgh. After the '71 Series, about 5,000 honored him in Canaan, about a 45-minute drive from Hartford. It was neat to see that Blass, who does color on the Pirates' radio broadcasts, hasn't forgotten his roots.

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