PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — He was well-known in the stands at Pittsburgh Pirates games. Phil Coyne is now being remembered as a long-time usher for the team, a huge fan and a beloved member of the community.
Family members say Coyne died Friday morning. He was 102.READ MORE: Phil Coyne, Longtime Pirates Usher, Turns 102-Years-Old
“It’s hard to think of life without Philly. He’s been in everyone’s lives for so long and everybody who’s ever been around him knew he was such a warm, caring person,” said nephew Dan Coyne.
It is with a heavy heart that we confirm the news of the passing of long-time usher Phil Coyne.
Today, we remember the life and many fond moments we have all shared with Phil.
Our deepest condolences to the Coyne family and the many friends Phil made throughout the years. pic.twitter.com/0CJyutXSZ1
— Pirates (@Pirates) April 9, 2021
He never married and never had kids, but his friends and admirers were in the hundreds of thousands. Every time his nephew Dan would go to a Pirate game, he’d hang out with his Uncle Philly, who was at times as much of an attraction as the players on the field.
— Heinz Field (@heinzfield) April 9, 2021
“And the whole time you were with him, people would come up to him, shaking hands, hugging him, taking pictures, asking for his autograph. And Philly loved it all,” he said.
Coyne was just shy of turning an amazing 103-years-old. He grew up in Oakland and had an extraordinary life.
In 2018, a plaque was dedicated to Coyne between Sections 26 and 27 at PNC Park, where he had worked since the ballpark opened in 2001.
Coyne joined the organization at just 18-years-old and his famous smile along the baseline endeared him to fans. He worked at Forbes Field then until World War ll took him to Italy, France and Germany under General George Patton before returning home to the town he loved.READ MORE: Retired Pirates Usher Phil Coyne Celebrates 100th Birthday At PNC Park
— City of Pittsburgh (@Pittsburgh) April 9, 2021
As a kid in Oakland, he was in the stands when Babe Ruth hit three home runs in his last game at Forbes Field, and in the 1960s, he was an usher when Mazeroski hit the home run to beat the Yankees in the seventh games of the World Series. Later he’d work at Three Rivers, PNC Park and Heinz Field.
He retired shortly before turning 100.
During the day, he worked at Westinghouse Air Brake — a job he held for 30 years, but his passion was the ballyard. The Pirates estimated Coyne had worked over 6,000 games at Forbes Field, Three Rivers Stadium and PNC Park.
“He also worked Steeler games, and he worked Pitt football games. I remember seeing him at a Pink Floyd concert. He would do concerts,” Dan said.
His uniform and employee identification badge were donated to baseball’s Hall of Fame.
To the many members of the extended Coyne family, he was Uncle Philly — always in the center of all that love.
“He did it all and he just loved being around people,” Dan said.
The Pirates have released this statement to the Coyne family and fans:
“It is with a heavy heart that we confirm the news of the passing of long-time usher Phil Coyne.
“Today, we remember the life and many fond moments we have all shared with Phil.MORE NEWS: ‘The Kindest Person In The World’: Pirates Usher Celebrates 81 Years On The Job
“Our deepest condolences to the Coyne family and the many friends Phil made throughout the years.”