Forbes Field opened on June 30, 1909 in Pittsburgh. It was a baseball first stadium of it's time, being constructed totally of concrete and steel, replacing the Pirates' Exposition Park. It's original cost was
$1 Million. A huge amount for the time.
It's seating capcity was larger than most new baseball parks of that era. 25,000 fans could watch from the seats. Rennovations in 1938 expanded the seating to 35,000.
Owner Barney Dreyfuss built Forbes Field in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, next to Schenley park. He named his new baseball stadium
after General John Forbes. Forbes was an officer in the French and Indian War. He captured Fort Duquesne and re-named it Fort Pitt after British statesman William Pitt. This is where Pittsburgh got it's name.
Forbes Field was also home to the Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues from 1939-1948. The NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers called the park home from 1933-1963 until they moved to nearby Pitt Stadium.
A no hitter was never pitched at Forbes Field, mostly due to it's expansive outfield. The right field stands were extended into the outfield in 1920 and the dimensions remained pretty much the same for the next 50 years. However, between 1947 and 1953, an inner fence was added which reduced the left field distance by 30 feet. This was to give an advantage to Pittsburgh Pirate sluggers like Ralph Kiner and Hank Greenberg.
The most famous moment in Forbes Field history came on October 13, 1960 during game 7 of the World Series between the Pirates and the New York Yankees.
Before a crowd of 36,683, Pirate second baseman Bill Mazeroski hit Ralph Terry's second pitch of the tenth inning over the left field fence to give the Bucs the World Championship.
The last game ever played at Forbes Field was on June 28, 1970. The Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1.
On July 16, 1970, the Pittsburgh Pirates moved into their brand new baseball stadium, Three Rivers Stadium.
The huge statue of Pirate star Honus Wagner that stood guard over Forbes Field for decades, was moved to Three Rivers and eventually to the Pirates new PNC Park.
Forbes Field was demolished on July 28, 1971. The ghosts of Wagner, Kiner, Lloyd and Paul Waner, Pie Traynor and Bill Mazeroski were now replaced by Pirate stars Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Steve Blass.
Some remnants of Forbes Field still exist. The flag pole and a portion of the left and center field walls (the Forbes Quadrangle) stand near Posvar Hall on the University of Pittsburgh. The original ivy still covers the bricks. There is a bronze palque to denote Mazeroski's 1960 home run.
The plexiglass covered home plate in located in Posvar Hall.
Forbes Field Dimensions:
Forbes Field was known for it's enormous outfield. Originally the left field fole pole stood at 360 feet. The right field line ran 376 feet and center field was a deep 462!
By 1925 the double deck grandstand was added to right field increasing seating to 35,000 and reducing the right field distance to 300 feet.
The first night game at Forbes Field was on June 4, 1940.
The Major League Baseball All Star game was held at Forbes Field in 1944 and 1959.
The Pirates hosted the Cincinnati Reds in a triple header on October 2, 1920.
Four World Series were played at Forbes Field. 1909, 1925, 1927 and 1960.
Return from Forbes Field to Old Ball Parks
Return To Baseball Legends