Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

James C. "Klinger" Klingensmith March 17, 1941 - Aug. 22, 2015 Key Labor Figure Helped Dad Get Famous Mazeroski Photo

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

James C. "Klinger" Klingensmith March 17, 1941 - Aug. 22, 2015 Key Labor Figure Helped Dad Get Famous Mazeroski Photo

Article excerpt

James C. "Klinger" Klingensmith was an excellent baseball player growing up and even once had a tryout with the Pirates, but perhaps the most important legacy he left for baseball fans was his role in one of the most famous sports photos ever snapped.

No, Mr. Klingensmith wasn't a photographer, but he attended the seventh game of the 1960 World Series at Forbes Field and he sat up on the roof above the grandstand with his father, a longtime photographer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

That, of course, was the game in which Bill Mazeroski hit the home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Pirates the win and the World Series championship.

Mr. Klingensmith and his father celebrated like everyone else, but then the son quickly reminded the father that he was supposed to be taking a photo. That's how the famous photo of Mazeroski rounding the bases came to be.

As Mr. Klingensmith recalled in his father's obituary in 2011, "When Maz hit the home run, my dad started jumping up and down, and I said, 'Pap, you better get to work' and he said, 'Holy hell, you're right!' And he grabbed his camera and caught Maz coming around second base."

Mr. Klingensmith, the son, who died Saturday at St. Clair Hospital as a result of complications from pancreatic cancer, had many memories of his dad but also left a legacy in sports of his own for his children, as he was a longtime NCAA football official for the Big Ten Conference and Conference USA.

Mr. Klingensmith was 74.

His son, Vince Klingensmith, said that his father's love of sports was always evident and that even though officiating could often be a thankless job, he enjoyed it because it gave him an opportunity to stay connected to the games he loved to play.

"I remember a Pitt-Penn State game at Pitt Stadium that he officiated and made a big call at the end of the game that the fans did not like," Vince Klingensmith said. …

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