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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, writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, announced the game over KDKA from a box seat next to the first base dugout at Forbes Field.[1][2] Throghout the 1920s and 1930s "occasional" games would be broadcast, until Rosie Roswell became the first "Voice of the Pirates" in 1936.[3] While most of Roswell's early broadcasts were solo, he was joined by Pirates' co-owner Bing Crosby and his sucessor Bob Prince for games.[3] 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 catch phrases to describe the game; he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in August 1986.[4] In 1976, Lanny Frattare became the Pirates' lead broadcaster. Frattare held the position for 33 years—the longest tenure of any Pirates' broadcaster.[5] Upon Frattare's retirement after the 2008 season, Tim Neverett was hired to fill the role as lead broadcaster.[6] Multiple people have held temporary positions as a broadcaster, including former players Don Hoak, Dave Giusti, Willie Stargell, and Pittsburgh Penguins' broadcaster Mike Lange.[7]

WWSW-FM broadcast Pirates' games on the radio during the 1940s and 1950s until KDKA became the franchise's flagship station in 1955.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] FSN Pittsburgh televised 125 games during the 2008 season,[11] and is scheduled to broadcast the same number in 2009.[12]



Go ball, get outta here!
—— Lanny Frattare after a Pirates home run[13]
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[14]
There was nooooo doubt about it.
—— Lanny Frattare after a Pirates win[13]
Broadcaster Years[a] Reference
Harold Arlin 1921 [15]
Rosie Roswell 19331954 [15][3]
Al Helfer 19331934 [15]
Jack Craddock 19421947 [15]
Bob Prince 19471975; 1985 [16]
Paul Long 19571962 [17]
Jim Woods 19581969 [18]
Nellie King 19671975 [18]
Milo Hamilton 19761979 [19]
Lanny Frattare 19762008 [20][21][5]
Nellie Briles 19791980 [22]
Dave Martin 1980 [22]
John Sanders 19811989 [22]
Jim Rooker 19811993 [22]
Steve Blass 1983–present [23]
Kent Derdivanis 19901993 [13]
Bob Walk 1994–present [23]
Greg Brown 1994–present [24]
John Wehner 2005–present [6]
Tim Neverett 2009–present [6]


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


  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 1579121128. 
  3. ^ a b c Finoli, Ranier 2003, p. 477
  4. ^ O'Brien 1998, p. 20
  5. ^ a b (1 October 2008). "Pittsburgh Pirates play-by-play announcer Lanny Frattare to retire after 33 seasons". Press release. Retrieved 1 October 2008. 
  6. ^ a b c "Broadcasters". Team. Retrieved 29 December 2008. 
  7. ^ Finoli, Ranier 2003, p. 484
  8. ^ Associated Press (12 September 2006). "After 51 years, KDKA out as Pirates flagship station". Retrieved 30 January 2009. 
  9. ^ (2006-09-12). "Pirates announce five-year strategic partnership with Clear Channel Communications". Press release. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  10. ^ "2008 Pittsburgh Pirates Radio Network". Pirates Radio Network. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  11. ^ "Liberty Sports Group". FSN Pittsburgh. Liberty Sports Holdings. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  12. ^ (2009-02-20). "Pirates announce 2009 broadcast schedules". Press release. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  13. ^ a b c Biertempfel, Rob (2008-10-02). "No doubt about it: Lanny Frattare retires". Memorable Calls (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). Retrieved 1 March 2009. 
  14. ^ McCollister 2008, pp. 129
  15. ^ a b c d "Pirates Broadcasters". All Time List. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  16. ^ Finoli, Ranier 2003, pp. 478–9
  17. ^ Finoli, Ranier 2003, pp. 479–80
  18. ^ a b Finoli, Ranier 2003, p. 480
  19. ^ Finoli, Ranier 2003, pp. 480–1
  20. ^ Finoli, Ranier 2003, pp. 481–2
  21. ^ Robinson, Alan (1 October 2008). "Frattare retires after 33 seasons with Pirates". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 1 October 2008. 
  22. ^ a b c d Finoli, Ranier 2003, p. 482
  23. ^ a b Finoli, Ranier 2003, p. 483
  24. ^ Finoli, Ranier 2003, pp. 483–4


  • Finoli, David; Bill Ranier (2003). The Pittsburgh Pirates Encyclopedia. United States: Sports Publishing L.L.C.. ISBN 1582614164. 
  • McCollister, John (2008). The good, the bad, and the ugly Pittsburgh Pirates. Chicago: Triumph Books. ISBN 9781572439825. 
  • O'Brien, Jim (1998). We Had 'Em All the Way: Bob Prince and His Pittsburgh Pirates. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: James P. O'Brien - Publishing. ISBN 1886348030. 

See also

External links



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