Pete van Wieren

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Pete Van Wieren (born October 7, 1944 in Rochester, New York) is a former American sportscaster best known for his long career calling play-by-play for Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves.

Broadcasting career[edit]

Atlanta Braves[edit]

Skip Caray and Pete van Wieren
acknowledging fans at a game in 1983.

From 1976 to 2008, he called the team's television and/or radio broadcasts, teaming with a number of on-air partners including Ernie Johnson, Don Sutton and Skip Caray (who was hired by the club at the same time as himself). Van Wieren was affectionately known as "The Professor" for his pre-game preparedness and baseball research abilities.

According to Van Wieren himself, on the September 17, 2007, Atlanta Braves Radio Network broadcast, he worked for the Washington Post in the 1960s. He did not say what his position was at the paper, only that he met Shirley Povich while he was there.

Along with Caray, Van Wieren was inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame in 2004, joining an impressive list in Braves history that already included Hank Aaron, Lew Burdette, Del Crandall, Tommy Holmes, Ernie Johnson, Eddie Mathews, Phil Niekro, Dale Murphy, Kid Nichols, Ted Turner, Johnny Sain and Warren Spahn.

On December 18, 2006, the Braves announced that Van Wieren had signed a three-year contract to continue doing Braves broadcasts on the radio.[1]

Non-Atlanta Braves assignments[edit]

An eight-time winner of the Georgia Sportscaster of the Year award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, Van Wieren broadcast a number of sports in addition to Braves baseball. He served as play-by-play announcer for Atlanta Hawks basketball from 1991 to 1994. After joining TBS Sports in 1975, he covered the Atlanta Flames of the National Hockey League, Big Ten Conference college football games on TBS, the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Falcons pre-season football. He has also served as a sports reporter for CNN.

Retirement[edit]

On October 21, 2008, Van Wieren unexpectedly announced his retirement from broadcasting effective immediately, after 33 seasons with the Braves. His departure came less than three months after the death of his longtime on-air partner Skip Caray. The broadcast booth for the Braves' home games at Turner Field is named for Van Wieren.

During the 2008 season, Van Wieren announced that a publishing company out of New York approached him about writing a book. He accepted and said that he would begin after the current season. His book is titled Of Mikes and Men: A Lifetime of Braves Baseball and was released in April 2010. It was co-written with Jack Wilkinson.

Early in 2010, Van Wieren was diagnosed with cutaneous B-cell lymphoma. He suffered a relapse and additional rounds of chemotherapy after a recurrence in the fall of the same year.[2]

Quotes[edit]

If you talk to any baseball broadcaster, all of them will tell you the purest form of broadcasting a baseball game is through radio.[3]

References[edit]

External links[edit]