Forbes Field: A Memoir in Drawings

Ramon AC

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Apr 19, 2002
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I just finished watching this video by muralist and architecture professor Douglas Cooper, in which he describes his experience living next to Pittsburgh's Forbes Field in the late 1960s. His memories are accompanied by his drawings, including details of a mural of historic Pittsburgh panoramas installed in Carnegie Mellon's University Center. I found the video below beautifully evocative, including Cooper's recollections of his conversations with Negro League player Harold Tinker, who played alongside Josh Gibson among other Hall of Famers. I grew up reading "The Glory of Their Times" and other books about the history of baseball, and I loved the combination of oral history and Cooper's Escher-esque depiction of Pittsburgh's topography.

 

Bergs

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Jul 22, 2005
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I just finished watching this video by muralist and architecture professor Douglas Cooper, in which he describes his experience living next to Pittsburgh's Forbes Field in the late 1960s. His memories are accompanied by his drawings, including details of a mural of historic Pittsburgh panoramas installed in Carnegie Mellon's University Center. I found the video below beautifully evocative, including Cooper's recollections of his conversations with Negro League player Harold Tinker, who played alongside Josh Gibson among other Hall of Famers. I grew up reading "The Glory of Their Times" and other books about the history of baseball, and I loved the combination of oral history and Cooper's Escher-esque depiction of Pittsburgh's topography.

"Evocative" is the perfect word. This is indeed "really cool" - thanks for sharing.
 

terrynever

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Aug 25, 2005
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As a Pittsburgh native, circa 1947-52, whose father took his sons to Forbes Field almost every summer in the 1950s, this video and wonderfully personal description of the neighborhood around the park is as close as I will ever get to seeing Clemente again, and that unique ball park. The description of Clemente’s wild throw is a bit hyperbolic, unless you have seen Clemente throw, and know how close the stands were to third base. Fenway is the only park existing today that gives fans that kind of close proximity to the field.
Douglas Cooper’s murals depicting the J&L steel mill and the smoke rising from its stacks are a reminder of what Pittsburgh looked like, and smelled like, until the mills went away late in the 20th century. We woke up to red ore dust on our cars every morning. Every town with a steel mill had that problem.
Thank you for posting!
 

Devizier

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Jul 3, 2000
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It's wild to see a parking lot where Schenley Plaza is today. There's no way it could accommodate even 1/10th the people attending a baseball game.
Douglas Cooper’s murals depicting the J&L steel mill and the smoke rising from its stacks are a reminder of what Pittsburgh looked like, and smelled like, until the mills went away late in the 20th century. We woke up to red ore dust on our cars every morning. Every town with a steel mill had that problem.
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