TSN Archives: 69 arrested as Pittsburgh ‘celebrates’



This article was originally published in the Oct. 30, 1971, issue of The Sporting News.

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Pirate fans waited 11 years for a World Series victory to celebrate, and they spoiled the celebration with their exuberance.

About 100,000 persons swarmed into downtown Pittsburgh Sunday, October 17, from every section of the city, from every suburb and from places 50 to 75 miles away.

Among them were families with children, young mothers with babies in their arms, senior citizens and groups of teen-agers and college students.

Rowdy celebrants smashed the windows of about 20 stores, overturned three taxicabs and set one of them on fire. They broke hundreds of beer bottles on streets and flooded major intersections b fire hydrants.

“There was a tremendous crowd,” said Police Inspector Peter Pollice. “There was some damage to down businesses and some looting, but not too much.”

He described the scene as just “a mass of humanity. To tell you the truth, we weren’t expecting that big a crowd and we weren’t ready for them.”

Police Sergeant Richard Kennedy said 69 persons were arrested during the downtown celebrations on charges ranging from intoxication to disorderly conduct.

“The vast majority of them were discharged,” Kennedy said.

‘No baseball crowd’

One police sergeant who said he was “right in the thick of things” said, “It was an unruly crowd and it was no baseball crowd, either. I’ll be 90 percent of them never saw a baseball game.”

Allegheny General Hospital, over a bridge from the downtown area, treated “between 30 and 35 persons for cuts, bruises, bumps, sprains and strains,” one nurse said.

The other downtown hospital, Mercy Hospital, reported “about 35 persons,” treated at its emergency room. All were released.

The daughter of Pirate Manager Danny Murtaugh, Mrs. Kathleen Walton, was examined at Mercy Hospital. Hospital officials said Mrs. Walton, in her sixth month of pregnancy, became frightened when fans jumped on the hood of the motorcade car in which she was riding.

The hell raising began a few seconds after the final out of the World Series. Motorists everywhere in the area leaned on their horns. From skyscraper dormitories of the University of Pittsburgh floods of paper cascaded into the streets.

An estimated 20,000 persons drove to the airport and mobbed the Pirates as they climbed off their airplane. It took police an hour to get the Pirate motorcade started. The plans for a slow parade and an official welcoming ceremony downtown were cancelled. The Pirates were swept through town in a fast motorcade under blaring sirens over a curtailed route.


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