Forbes Field was home to baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates
from 1909 until 1970. Built far from Pittsburgh's downtown at the time, it was nicknamed "Dreyfuss's Folly
," for Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss
, until the Pirates began leading the league in attendance. The field itself was named after General John Forbes
, a hero of the French and Indian War
For its time, Forbes Field was filled with innovations: ramps and elevators, well-furnished rooms for the umpires and visiting teams, and a quite noticable lack of advertising. It also had very large playing dimensions, as Dreyfuss was not a fan of home runs, and had almost twice as much foul territory as most parks in the league. The bases of the flagpole in centerfield and of light towers in left and rightfield were all in play.
The Pirates were not particularly successful in Forbes Field. After World War II, in search of their first pennant in Forbes Field, they bought Hank Greenberg from the Detroit Tigers. To accommodate their new slugger, in 1947 they moved the left field fence in 30 feet, and named the area "Greenberg Gardens." When Greenberg retired after the season, he was replaced by Ralph Kiner, who proceeded to lead the National League in home runs in seven straight seasons, and the area was renamed "Kiner's Korner."
The Pirates finally reached the World Series in 1960, and beat the New York Yankees in seven games. The final game of the series, played in Forbes Field, was won in the bottom of the ninth on Bill Mazeroski's home run. 1960 would be the only year the Pirates would make the World Series playing in Forbes Field.
Forbes Field was demolished in 1971, a year after the Pirates moved to Three Rivers Stadium. But the area where the field used to stand was claimed by the University of Pittsburgh, and home plate was left unmoved, now sitting in the lobby of the University's Forbes Quadrangle building.
Left: 360 feet
Deepest part, left of center: 462
Dimensions after 1954: