PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Former Pirates manager Chuck Tanner has died. He was 82.
Tanner, who hailed from New Castle, was with the team from 1977 to 1985. During his tenure, he led the Bucs to the 1979 World Series. Tanner also held management positions with the Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves and Oakland A’s.
During his eight-season career as a player, he played with the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, Braves and Indians.
Former player Dave Parker talked about Tanner on the Seibel, Starkey, and Miller Show on 93-7 The FAN. He said Chuck was like a father to him.
“He was one of those guys that – a little like Stargell. If you couldn’t like Chuck Tanner, you couldn’t like anyone,” Parker said.
“Everybody respected Chuck and loved Chuck in the manner that he got instant respect and he let guys govern each other,” he added.
Phil Garner also spoke about Tanner’s passing with Seibel, Starkey and Miller.
“Chuck’s at the big ballpark in the sky – guarantee you he’s up there patting somebody on the back saying, ‘Hey, you’re doing okay man, you’re gonna be alright,’” he said. “So I’m sure he’s patting God on the knee and saying, ‘Hang in there God. Things are gonna be good.’”
Former Pirate Jim Rooker talked with Rose and Paul on the KDKA Afternoon News on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA about Chuck’s life and legacy.
“There are so many things you can say about Chuck,” Rooker said. “No. 1 is what a positive person he was.”
“He could handle players,” he continued. “He could put you in a mindset, in a frame of mind – not only did he really believe in you, you believed in him.”
Lanny Frattere, Steve Blass, and Bob Walk joined Robert Mangino on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA to share their memories.
Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm reacted to the news on Twitter:
“We lost an unbelievable man today in Chuck Tanner he will be missed by all. I loved every conversation I was able to have with him. RIP”
Pirates President Frank Coonelly said in a statement that Tanner was a class act.
“Chuck was much more than a highly successful Major League manager who guided the Pirates to the World Series Championship in 1979, he was an integral and loved member of the Pirates family, most recently serving as a Senior Advisor to General Manager Neal Huntington. Chuck will be deeply missed by everyone within the Pirates family.”
Tanner’s son, Bruce Tanner, released a statement on behalf of the family.
“The Tanner family would like to express their sincere thanks to friends, fans, and the entire baseball community for their thoughts and prayers during Chuck’s recent illness.”
“He will forever be remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather to his family, and a good friend to every life he touched. In baseball we will remember his eternal optimism and his passion for the game.”
“The family is asking for privacy at this difficult time.”