PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was on this date five years ago that Lanny Frattare announced his retirement as the Pirates announcer.
He really likes this team, though, and when KDKA caught up with him, he looked back on some of his other favorite Bucco teams.
He called the games at Three Rivers Stadium and at PNC Park longer than Bob Prince did.
And in terms of the teams he followed, it was a lot like a roller coaster ride. But he, as a fan, is very happy for this team.
He was there when winning was a tradition.
“Belinda in relief of Doug Drakek,” said during a game vs. the Braves. “The Braves have the bases loaded. They’re at two outs in the ninth inning, the one ball pitch and Cabrera takes it high.”
And he was there on the night that preceded a 20-year losing streak.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that it is easier traveling with and announcing for a winning team,” he says. “No question about it.”
But after calling games from 1976 until his retirement in 2008, Frattare now instructs would-be broadcasters at Waynesburg University.
And he sees himself as one of the biggest fans of the team.
“I am so excited for the people of Pittsburgh, the baseball fans of Pittsburgh who were extremely patient,” he said. “I traveled around with the Pittsburgh Pirates and I know there are parts of the country that don’t believe that Pittsburgh’s a great baseball town. I know that it is and so it’s wonderful that so many people now are going to have a chance to celebrate a playoff game.”
And having seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst, he thinks this team has potential for baseball beyond tonight.
“The way Clint Hurdle has used this bullpen and set it all up and of course when you’ve got one of the greatest players in the league, MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen, I give Andrew so much credit for how he developed as a player,” he said. “I’m so excited for Neil Walker.”