Monday, October 27, 2008

A Real Baseball Man

Amid the home run hit by Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton, the surprising athleticism of forty-five year old Jamie Moyer, and Joe Maddon's bold move to play a five-man infield, Atlanta was buzzing with news that many had hoped to not be true.

A real baseball man, Pete Van Wieren, is retiring. The Atlanta Braves announcer is retiring after thirty-three years with the major league organization. There comes an end to all great careers, on the field and off. Braves fans merely hoped Wieren would never leave.

With the death of Skip Caray, Van Wieren's broadcast partner, earlier this year and now Van Wieren's retirement, the voice of Braves baseball may be unrecognizable for the first time since the Braves moved to Atlanta.

I remember listening to Van Wieren on the radio and television all five times the Braves reached the World Series in the 1990s. I remember his excitement in 1995 and his disappointment in 1999. His voice and my Atlanta-loving pain.

As they say, thanks for the memories, Pete.

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