Forbes Field – Game Over

March 11th, 2012
by Byron Bennett

My earlier post, Forbes Field and the University of Pittsburgh, focuses on the portion of the original outfield wall that remains at the former site of Forbes Field, now part of the University of Pittsburgh.

Forbes Field Postcard (Published by Minsky Bros. & Co. Pittsburgh) 

The original outfield wall is not the only artifact of Forbes Field remaining at the site.

Pennsylvania Historical Plaque for Forbes Field

The former location of home plate is inside Wesley Posvar Hall, a six-story building constructed by the University of Pittsburgh in the mid 1970’s.

University of Pittsburgh’s Wesley Posvar Hall

A plaque outside Posvar Hall recognizes Barney Dreyfus, owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1900 to 1932.

Pennsylvania Historical Plaque Honoring Barney Dreyfuss

The actual home plate from Forbes Field is encased in glass and set into the floor in its “approximate” former location.

Forbes Field Home Plate

Hung on a wall next to home plate  is a photograph of Forbes Field taken from the Cathedral of Learning, which is located several blocks beyond what was once left field.

Former and Present Location of Forbes Field Home Plate

About 90 feet from the home plate marker inside Posvar Hall is an oil portrait of Wesley W. Posvar, the University’s 15th chancellor.

Oil Painting of Chancellor Posvar

Outside Posvar Hall is a line of of bricks that lead across Roberto Clemente Drive to where the remnants of the outfield wall begin. About 15 feet tall, and perhaps 180 feet long, the wall is constructed of red brick and divided by concrete columns spaced 12 feet apart.  The columns are covered in green paint and the wall is capped with blocks of weathered grey granite. Next to the wall is the original center field flag pole.

Original Forbes Field Wall on Campus of University of Pittsburgh

The wall ends at what once was the right-field pavilion.  For additional pictures of the Forbes Field wall, check out my earlier post, Forbes Field and the University of Pittsburgh.

Backside of Forbes Field Wall with Posvar Hall Visible Beyond Wall

Behind the Forbes Field wall is a youth baseball diamond.

Youth Baseball Diamond Behind Forbes Field Wall (to the right)

Also behind the wall is a replica of the entrance to Forbes Field.

Replica Entrance to Forbes Field

Constructed of wood, the entrance way replicates the cream-colored, tiled facade of Forbes Field.

Sign Attached to Replica of Forbes Field’s Entrance

Behind what would have been the right field pavilion is the top landing of a concrete stairway with painted aqua green pipe hand rails.  The stairway once provided ballpark access for fans arriving from Joncaire Street in Panther Hollow.

Stairway Behind Forbes Field’s Right Field Pavilion

Next to PNC Park, the Pirates current home, is a statute of Bill Mazeroski crossing home plate, in honor of his 1960 World Series walk of home run. Part of the fence surrounding the plaza includes a portion of the Forbes Field brick wall – marked “306 FT” – which was removed during the demolition of the ballpark and resided for a while at Three River Stadium. It was this portion of the Forbes Field wall that Mazeroski’s famous home run cleared for the game winner.

Bill Mazeroski Statue Located Outside PNC Park Just West of Exposition Park's Former Site

Bill Mazeroski Statue Located Outside PNC Park Just West of Exposition Park’s Former Site

Although Forbes Field is now just another lost ballpark, what remains at the site is well worth a stop for any baseball fan passing through Pittsburgh.

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Posted in Forbes Field, Pennsylvania ballparks | Comments (8)

  • Avatar Mike Floyd says:

    Looked over your website and can tell you are really into the game. I am writing a column about game 7 of the 1960 World Series. I am a good friend with Bob Skinner who lives out in San Diego and he gave me some interesting quotes about that Series.
    Take care, Mike Floyd, Courier=Times Newspaper, Roxboro, NC

  • Byron Bennett Byron Bennett says:

    Hello Mike – Thanks for the note. I am indeed really into baseball. Please let me know when you publish your column or send me a link and I will link it to my site.

  • […] a debt of gratitude to the University of Pittsburgh for having the foresight to keep portions of Forbes Field in place for future generations of fans to appreciate. The university purchased Forbes Field in […]

  • […] Athletics Manager Connie Mack served as a consultant. The field and stadium were patterned after Forbes Field and Shibe ParkShibe Park. Both the Philadelphia Phillies (1911, 1920) and the Pittsburgh Pirates […]

  • […] practices, spring training, and Negro National League contests when the Gray’s home ballpark Forbes Field was unavailable. During the early 1900s, the Grays played at another ball field in Munhall (known […]

  • […] and the former site of Greenlee Field, is located just two miles west of the former site of Forbes Field, and one and a half miles southwest of the former sites of Three Rivers Stadium and Exposition […]

  • […] in continuous use, built in 1915, and the remnants of Braves Field, which opened in 1915. Athough Forbes Field was constructed in 1909, the same year as Swayne Field, the outfield wall that remains at the […]

  • […] In addition to the Pirates, who played at Exposition Park from 1891 to 1909, before moving to Forbes Field mid season, the Players League Pittsburgh Burghers played at Exposition Park in 1890 and the […]

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