SEA approves construction of Maz statue at PNC Park
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Maz has begun his home run trot, bureaucratically speaking.
City-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority board members cleared the way Thursday for the construction of the Bill Mazeroski statue at PNC Park by approving a development and maintenance agreement with the team and Pirates Charities.
No SEA money will be involved in the tribute to the Hall of Fame second baseman. The Pirates will be responsible for the $450,000 construction cost and the ongoing maintenance of the work.
Patty Paytas, vice president of community and public affairs for the Pirates, said work on the statue will start June 1. The team hopes to dedicate it on Sept. 5 - Mr. Mazeroski's 74th birthday.
The statue will show Maz rounding second base after hitting the dramatic seventh-game walk off home run that won the 1960 World Series against the powerful New York Yankees. The tribute coincides with the 50th anniversary of that improbable championship.
"We thought it was a fitting tribute to Bill Mazeroski, who was the hero of that World Series," Ms. Paytas said.
The statue will be erected at the end of a cul-de-sac on Mazeroski Way near PNC Park's right field entrance. Approval by the SEA was needed because it owns the land on which the monument will be placed.
Aggregate concrete surrounding the statue will be shaped and colored to resemble infield dirt. The second-base bag behind the statue will be enlarged and will contain historical information about the moment.
A section of the wall at Forbes Field, where the home run was hit, also will serve as the backdrop to the statue.
The statue will be created by Susan Wagner, the same artist who did the Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell statues at PNC Park. It will go before the city art commission next week.
The Pirates also are offering fans a chance to contribute to the statue fund by buying a cast aluminum ivy leaf at $150 or $500 a pop. The leaves, which can be engraved, will be attached to walls to the left and right of the statue. They will not be installed on the section of Forbes Field wall, Ms. Paytas said.
Also Thursday, the SEA board authorized borrowing up to $43 million to pay off financing related to construction of a North Shore parking garage and a 2004 loan to finish work at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. SEA Executive Director Mary Conturo said the refunding will save the authority about $1.1 million a year in borrowing costs.
First Published February 19, 2010 12:00 am