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Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum

“It’ll Take an Army” Franco’s Italian Army Fifty Years Later

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Personal Connections to a Hero Named Roberto Clemente

An autograph often becomes a fan’s first cherished keepsake, a way to commemorate a personal meeting with a hero. As we mature, few people we meet rise to the level of “heroes.” However, for many local Pittsburghers and Puerto Ricans, Roberto Clemente emerged as, and remains, a hero. This past year we celebrated the 50th…

Pitt vs. WVU: The History of the Backyard Brawl

Separated by just 70 miles, feelings run strong in the football rivalry between the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University. Sept. 1, 2022 marks the first time in more than a decade that the two teams will clash in what fans affectionately refer to as the “Backyard Brawl.”

Fred Lenn: The Battling Boxer

  Fred Lenn fought in two arenas—as a Marine serving during World War II and Korea, and in the ring as a champion amateur and professional boxer. The second of nine children born to Polish immigrant parents in 1914, Lenn grew up on Pittsburgh’s South Side. Christened Walter Frederick Lenkowski at St. Stanislaus Polish Catholic…

Negro League Centennial: Negro League Baseball in Pittsburgh

  The Homestead Grays baseball uniform of second baseman Clarence Bruce is on display in the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum. Bruce wore number 46 for the Grays for the 1947 and 1948 seasons. A member of the 1948 Negro League championship team, Bruce was known for his superior defensive skills. Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pirates.…

Remembering Johnny Majors

  PITT National Championship, by Merv Corning, watercolor, 1996. Portraits of Coach Johnny Majors and Heisman Trophy winner and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett center this piece created for the 20th anniversary of the 1976 championship season. Gift of Arthur J. Rooney, Jr. The History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum were saddened…

Pull Up A Chair at the History Center

  Pittsburgh, known for its many bridges, spirited sports fans, and friendly citizens, wants you to know just how welcomed you are here. There’s a common love for all things Pittsburgh at the History Center, so when our friends at VisitPITTSBURGH launched their new “Pull Up a Chair” campaign, we decided it’s the perfect time…

Inspiring Women in Pittsburgh History

  Western Pennsylvania’s rich history is full of women who broke down barriers and made a lasting impact on the region and the world. Journalist Nellie Bly, conservationist Rachel Carson, jazz legend Mary Lou Williams, and the ever-inspiring character of Rosie the Riveter are just some of the powerful names whose influence extends far beyond…

Immortalizing Forbes Field: MGM Drafts Pittsburgh for Big Film

  Ever wish you could see one last baseball game at Pittsburgh’s historic Forbes Field? Well, the 1951 feature film “Angels in the Outfield” offers the next best option. The lighthearted movie, filmed on-location in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, tells the story of a fictitious manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates who changes his blasphemous…

The Olympics on Ice: Herb Drury

U.S. vs. Belgium on outdoor rink, Chamonix, France, Jan. 28, 1924. Courtesy of Frederick R. Favo. Every four years, the Winter Olympic Games recall the importance of Pittsburgher Herb Drury in the story of ice hockey and the Olympics. Born in Midland, Ontario, Canada in 1895, Drury came to Pittsburgh in 1916 to play for…

Top 5 Instagram-Worthy Spots at the History Center

  Don’t forget to tag your social media photos with #heinzhistorycenter so that we can see what your favorite photo spots at the History Center are! The History Center’s Heinz exhibit got a boost in popularity when world famous singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran stopped by for a visit before his concert at PPG Paints Arena in…