MY EARLY PIRATE MEMORIES WITH BROADCASTER BOB PRINCE
THE-GUNNER.COM

AUDIO CLIPS - HADDIX'S ALMOST PERFECT GAME , 1960 BUCS , 1971 BUCS , BUCCO MUSIC including Who's on First?

NOTES:
1. If your web browser did not automatically start the background WAV file of a classic Bob Prince home run call, here it is. This audio clip was from the Bucco game vs Padres on July 15, 1971. It is the Gunner's call of Roberto Clemente's homer in the 17th inning to beat San Diego 4-3.
2. All other audio clips and Pirate internet broadcast require Real Player. Listen to current Pirate games at mlb.com. (Requires the free RealPlayer software and MLB audio subscription)
4. Before I was born the Pirates had been in the World Series in 1903 , 1909 , 1925 , and 1927.

I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and have rooted for the Pittsburgh Pirates all my life from the age of 10 in 1957. In the early years my dad would take my brother Fred and I to several games a year at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. I also followed the Bucs on radio and television with broadcasters Bob "gunner" Prince and Jim "possum" Woods.

The first game I can still remember listening to was the Pirates vs Braves game at County Stadium in Milwaukee on May 26 1959. That night Pirate pitcher Harvey Haddix pitched 12 perfect innings only to lose in 13, 1-0.

Even though the Pirates had 12 hits, the game entered the bottom of the 13th inning with no score and Haddix still pitching a perfect game. The inning opened with Felix Mantia reaching 1st base on an error by Pirate 3rd baseman Don Hoak. Mantia was sacrificed to 2nd and Hank Aaron was intentionaly walked. Joe Adcock was the next batter and he hit a homerun. The game ended in a 1-0 Bucco defeat after Felix Mantia scored run 1 while Hank Arron cut across the pitcher's mound after passing second base and Joe Adcock passed him. Listen to Bob Prince and Paul Long describe the highlights of this almost perfect game (380 KB real player file) starting with Haddix getting the Braves final out of the 9th inning. More about this game and Harvey Haddix.

The 1960 season was a magical one for the Pirates and for me as a young 13 year old fan. Listen to Bob Prince and Paul Long describe the regular season. (1.14 meg Real Player file) 1960 Pirate season comments from: Owners, shortstop Dick Groat & mgr. Danny Murtaugh (809K RealPlayer file) , GM Joe L. Brown and Rosey Rowswell (908K RealPlayer file). Here are the highlights of each Pirate game in 1960.

The 1960 World Series was an example of David vs Goliath. The New York Yankees outscored the Pirates 55 to 27 runs, collected 91 hits to the Bucs 60. The Bronx Bombers first 3 wins were by scores of 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0 while the Pirates won their 3 first games by scores of 3-2, 5-2 and 6-4. The seventh and deciding game was played in Pittsburgh on October 13, 1960.

Listen to Bob Prince, Paul Long, and NBC radio broadcaster Chuck Thompson describe highlights of the 7th game. ( 1 meg real player file) Here is video with the Maz homerun and many other World Series video moments. Further details on the 1960 World Series. Here is a story of an 8 year old listening to the game.

The 1960 Pirate fight song was Benny Benack's Beat 'em Bucs. (455 KB real player file) On the flip side of their origional 45 RPM record is The Charge of the Buccaneers (627 kbytes Real Player file).

For 1979 the Bucs adopted the song We Are Family by Sister Sledge as their unoffical theme song. Terry Cashman released Baseball and the Bucs (362K Real Player File) in 1982. The Pirates first and only official song was released in 1990 and titled We Believe in you. Meanwhile, Bud Abbott is still trying to tell Lou Costello Who's on First - audio (2.16 Meg RealPlayer audio file), video (For broadband only 4:20)

Listening to these 2 games, among numerous others, and going to many games helped make me a Bucco fan for life. Broadcaster Bob Prince's rapid fire delivery and colorfull vocabulary was a key ingredient in my growth as a Pirate fan.

I continued following the Pirates after I moved to Baltimore in 1968. The Pirates played their last game in Forbes Field on June 28 1970. They won a double header from the Chicago Cubs. Their first game at Three Rivers Stadium was on July 16 1970, but they lost to the Cincinnati Reds 3-2. They got to the 1970 NLCS but lost to the Reds 3 games to none.

With the exception of Pittsburgh, Baltimore was the ideal place to be when my Buccos beat the Orioles to become 1971 World Series Champions. Here are the hightlights of each Pirate game in 1971. Read details: NLCS vs Giants , or World Series vs Orioles. You can also listen to audio highlights of the 1971 NLCS vs S. F. Giants (1.4 meg real player file), 1971 World Series games: 1-3 (1.9 meg real player file) , 4-6 (2.0 meg real player file) and 7. (700 KB real player file) Watch all or part of game 7, along with many other games, at mlb.com's video library. Requires a MLB subscription.

Listen to more examples, from 1971 and 1972, of Bob Prince's play by play and story telling abilities including how he got his nickname - the gunner.

In between 1971 and 1979, the Bucs made it to the NLCS in 1972, 1974, and 1975 but lost each time.

1979 was a repeat of 1971, as the Bucs beat the Orioles in the World Series again! Details: 1979 NLCS vs Reds, 1979 World Series vs Orioles.

I was at the Baltimore airport on the night the Pirtates won the 1979 championship. I met Bob Prince and shook the hands of most of the Pirates as they were going through the metal detectors. That was a night to remember.

Bob Prince was the featured play by play broadcaster of the Bucs thru 1975. The current featured play by play broadcaster, Lanny Frattare, took over in 1976. From 1968 to now, I have listened to Bob, Lanny and all other Pirate broadcasters call countless Pirate games. Except for an occasional game on national TV or radio, I could only hear night games while the signal from KDKA radio, and other stations, faded in and out here in Baltimore. The Pirates got close to the National Leauge Championship in 1990, 1991, and 1992 but lost out to Cincinnati once and Atlanta twice.

Finally in 1998, through the miracle of the internet, I can listen to every game like KDKA radio is in Baltimore. In fact, the Baltimore Sun Newspaper did a feature on fans listening to baseball games via the internet on July 20, 1998. The image of me at my PC on my home web page is from that article.

Why would a grown man, over 50 years old, continue to listen to most Pittsburgh Pirate games regardless of their position in the NL standings? Well, I guess its in my blood. The Pirates have been like a part of my family all my life. Just like life, I suffer with them through the bad times and enjoy the good times like 1960, 1971, and 1979.

I have enjoyed all the Pirate broadcasters, but the gunner has always been my favorite. As I said earlier, Bob Prince was a big influence on me becoming a life long Bucco fan. If you remember Bob or would just like to know more about him, check out Glenn's Pirate Page for a tribute to the gunner. It includes several of his famous sayings and nicknames known as "gunnerisms".

Forbes Field was home to the Pirates from 1909-1970. Pitt University had purchased the land that included Forbes Field in 1958. Shortly after the Pirates moved to Three Rivers Stadium, Forbes Field was demolished to make room for Pitt campus expansion.

Pitt did preserve a portion of the Forbes field outfield wall. Check out some photos of the preserved portion of the wall and of home plate, courtsey of Glenn's Pirate Pages. Each October 13th, the anniversary of the 7th game of the 1960 World Series, several Bucco fans gather at the wall to replay the audio of the game and share memories. I visited the wall on Oct. 30 1998 and it brought back so many memories. I made my first visit to the annual Oct 13th gathering in 2000 for the 40th anniversery of the game.

A book has been written by Jim O'Brien about Bob Prince titled We Had 'em All The Way.

Any comments or suggestions about my Web Site can emailed to Ed McConnell.

*** All audio clips on this web page were digitized into RealPlayer format from a 33 1/3 LP record titled the Impossible Pirates and a 1972 record on the Pirates 1971 chapmionship season. I bought the Impossible Pirates record in 1961 at Forbes Field for $3.95! ***