"Maz" is a great guy. And he hit one of the most memorable home runs in baseball history for the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (see video).
ESPN called it "the greatest home run ever."
It did win a World Series, the quintessential backyard dream of every kid who plays baseball.
But Mazeroski didn't hit much else.
Playing for the Pirates from 1956-1972, he was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 2001 despite this evidence against him: .260 BA, 138 homers, 853 runs batted in and 27 stolen bases in 2,163 games.
His defense was good, however, and his lifetime fielding percentage of .983 is solid for a second baseman.
He also made the All-Star team 10 times.
But what if he doesn't hit that home run. Is he in the Hall of Fame?
Put another way, what if Placido Polanco hit that home run? Would you say Polanco belongs in the Hall of Fame?
Because Polanco's lifetime stats show him hitting .304, with 101 HRs, 681 RBI and 79 SBs in just 1,719 games. And he's one of the best defensive second basemen ever, with a career fielding percentage of .992. (You don't have to believe me. You could look it up.)
I know, I know.
It's not fair to compare Polanco and Mazeroski, players from different eras.
But you can't argue Mazeroski should get into Cooperstown without a ticket unless he hits that dream dinger.
And one homer does not make a career, even if it defines it.
This was a sentimental selection waiting for him after circling the bases that afternoon.