Richie Hebner, the former Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman who was part of the 1971 World Series championship team, soaked up the atmosphere at Point Stadium during Sunday’s free youth clinic.
Hebner marveled at the stadium’s allure and talked about how he learned that Johnstown is a great baseball town.
Despite playing much of his 18-year major league career 70 miles West of the city with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Hebner said he never realized a baseball jewel such as the Point Stadium and the AAABA Tournament existed here.
The former Buccos infielder also chatted with Johnstown’s Gene Pentz, the MVP of the 1970 AAABA Tournament who played for the Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers during the years when Hebner was with the Pirates. The two former ballplayers exchanged stories about the “glory days.”
Hebner spoke during Saturday night’s AAABA Hall of Fame banquet at the Pasquerilla Conference Center. He had a crowd of 526 applauding and frequently laughing at stories he told from his career, which spanned the late 1960s into the 1980s as a player. He was a coach in the minors through the 2016 season.
Near the conclusion of the youth clinic, which brought more than 50 youngsters to the Point, Hebner spoke to the group in the outfield, telling them to “have fun” playing the game and encouraging them to continue to work to get better.