List of Pittsburgh Pirates broadcasters

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Forbes Field wall – 2006

The Pittsburgh Pirates are members of Major League Baseball (MLB); they have employed sportscasters to provide play-by-play and color commentary during games broadcast over the radio and on television.

On August 5, 1921, Pittsburgh hosted the first baseball game broadcast over the radio. Harold Arlin, a foreman at Westinghouse, announced the game over KDKA from a box seat next to the first base dugout at Forbes Field.[1][2][3] Throughout the 1920s and 1930s "occasional" games would be broadcast, until Rosey Rowswell became the first "Voice of the Pirates" in 1936.[4] While most of Roswell's early broadcasts were solo, he was joined by Pirates' co-owner Bing Crosby and his successor Bob Prince for games.[4] Prince took over as lead broadcaster in 1955 and held the position over the next 20 seasons. Prince gained a reputation for giving players nicknames and inventing catchphrases to describe the game; he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in August 1986.[5] In 1976, Lanny Frattare became the Pirates' lead broadcaster. Frattare held the position for 33 years—the longest tenure of any Pirates' broadcaster.[6] Upon Frattare's retirement after the 2008 season, Greg Brown took over the role as lead broadcaster.[7] Multiple people have held temporary positions as broadcasters, including former players Don Hoak, Dave Giusti, Willie Stargell, and Pittsburgh Penguins' broadcaster Mike Lange.[8]

WWSW-FM broadcast Pirates' games on the radio during the 1940s and 1950s until KDKA became the franchise's flagship station in 1955.[9] In 2006, the Pirates switched to WPGB in an attempt to reach younger age brackets; under the current contract WPGB will carry Pirates' games though the 2011 season.[10] As of 2009, the Pirates Radio Network has stations located in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland; WPGB is scheduled to broadcast all 162 games of the Pirates' 2009 season.[11] FSN Pittsburgh televised 125 games during the 2008 season,[12] and is scheduled to broadcast the same number in 2009.[13] Starting with the 2012 season, KDKA-FM takes over as the flagship station of the Pirates Radio Network.

Broadcasters[edit]

Go ball, get outta here!

— Lanny Frattare after a Pirates home run[14]

There are a reported 15,000 people at the game this afternoon. If that's true, then at least 12,000 of them are disguised as empty seats.

— Jim Woods[15]

There was nooooo doubt about it.

— Lanny Frattare after a Pirates win[14]
Broadcaster Years[a] Reference
Harold Arlin 1921 [16]
  Rosey Rowswell   19331954 [16][4]
Al Helfer 19331934 [16]
Jack Craddock 19421947 [16]
Bob Prince 19471975; 1985 [17]
Paul Long 19571962 [18]
Jim Woods 19581969 [19]
Nellie King 19671975 [19]
Milo Hamilton 19761979 [20]
Lanny Frattare 19762008 [21][22][6]
Nellie Briles 19791980 [23]
Dave Martin 1980 [23]
John Sanders 19811989 [23]
Jim Rooker 19811993 [23]
Steve Blass 1983–present [24]
Kent Derdivanis 19901993 [14]
Bob Walk 1994–present [24]
Greg Brown 1994–present [25]
John Wehner 2005–present [7]
Tim Neverett 2009–present [7]

Footnotes[edit]

  • a Each year is linked to an article about that particular MLB season.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ McCollister 2008, p. 104
  2. ^ Leventhal, Josh; Jessica MacMurray (2000). Take Me Out to the Ballpark. New York, New York: Workman Publishing Company. p. 53. ISBN 1-57912-112-8. 
  3. ^ Smith, Curt (2005). Voices of Summer. New York City: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-1446-8. 
  4. ^ a b c Finoli, Ranier 2003, p. 477
  5. ^ O'Brien 1998, p. 20
  6. ^ a b "Pittsburgh Pirates play-by-play announcer Lanny Frattare to retire after 33 seasons" (Press release). PittsburghPirates.com. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2008. 
  7. ^ a b c "Broadcasters". Team. PittsburghPirates.com. Retrieved 29 December 2008. 
  8. ^ Finoli, Ranier 2003, p. 484
  9. ^ Associated Press (12 September 2006). "After 51 years, KDKA out as Pirates flagship station". ESPN.com. Retrieved 30 January 2009. 
  10. ^ "Pirates announce five-year strategic partnership with Clear Channel Communications" (Press release). PittsburghPirates.com. 2006-09-12. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  11. ^ "2008 Pittsburgh Pirates Radio Network". Pirates Radio Network. PittsburghPirates.com. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  12. ^ "Liberty Sports Group". FSN Pittsburgh. Liberty Sports Holdings. Retrieved 2009-01-30. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Pirates announce 2009 broadcast schedules" (Press release). PittsburghPirates.com. 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  14. ^ a b c Biertempfel, Rob (2008-10-02). "No doubt about it: Lanny Frattare retires". Memorable Calls (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). Retrieved 1 March 2009. 
  15. ^ McCollister 2008, pp. 129
  16. ^ a b c d "Pirates Broadcasters". All Time List. PittsburghPirates.com. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  17. ^ Finoli, Ranier 2003, pp. 478–9
  18. ^ Finoli, Ranier 2003, pp. 479–80
  19. ^ a b Finoli, Ranier 2003, p. 480
  20. ^ Finoli, Ranier 2003, pp. 480–1
  21. ^ Finoli, Ranier 2003, pp. 481–2
  22. ^ Robinson, Alan (1 October 2008). "Frattare retires after 33 seasons with Pirates". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 1 October 2008. 
  23. ^ a b c d Finoli, Ranier 2003, p. 482
  24. ^ a b Finoli, Ranier 2003, p. 483
  25. ^ Finoli, Ranier 2003, pp. 483–4

References[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]