ShareThis Page
Forbes Field reborn at Carnegie Science Center |

Forbes Field reborn at Carnegie Science Center

Allison M. Heinrichs
| Monday, November 12, 2007 12:00 a.m

It took four months to build Forbes Field in 1909.

Almost a century later, it took the Carnegie Science Center more than a year to reconstruct it — one-64th the size of the original.

The famous Oakland baseball park, home to the Pirates until 1970, has been re-created as a hand-built model in the North Shore Science Center’s Miniature Railroad & Village. The exhibit reopens for the year on Nov. 23 and is free with museum admission.

“Forbes Field has been the most requested thing that our visitors want to see,” said Patty Rogers, historic exhibits coordinator for the science museum. “It just became evident that we had to do it.”

Every year the railroad exhibit reopens with a new feature or historic building from Western Pennsylvania.

“Everything that we do is a reproduction of the architecture, the culture and the history of our area,” Rogers said.

The Forbes Field reproduction — which replaces a generic baseball diamond — weighs in at almost 50 pounds and is the biggest addition in the exhibit’s 87-year history.

The details are modeled after the ballfield’s Opening Day appearance and not the subsequent additions and changes — except for one. Instead of putting a wooden fence in the outfield, Rogers incorporates the brick wall added in 1946, some of which still stands today. She is making it out of a crushed brick from the actual 12-foot wall.

Beyond the outfield, horse-drawn carriages mingle with automobiles in a reproduction of Schenley Park — modeled after a photograph from Opening Day.

“It’s really pretty fascinating how accurate this is,” said Stephen “Slugger” Shiring, 19, of Ford City in Armstrong County. He volunteers once a week to help with the exhibit and painted all the players. “It’s such an important piece of our past.”

On the field, the Pirates play the Chicago Cubs — just as they did on June 30, 1909. An animated batter swings and the crowd — simulated with 23,000 painted Q-tips — cheers.

“The score from that game was 3-2,” Rogers said with a sigh. “We lost.”

Additional Information:

Forbes Field

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.