UPPER ST. CLAIR, Pa. — Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster Bob Prince was eulogized Sunday as "no saint," but a fiercely independent soul with "a heart as big a center field . . . (who) cut a wide, exciting swath through Pittsburgh and in places far from here."
Prince, the popular voice of the Pirates for nearly three decades and one of baseball's best known play-by-play announcers, died last Monday of complications following cancer surgery. He was 68 years old.
Nearly 800 family members, friends and fans attended a 30-minute memorial service at Westminster Presbyterian Church Sunday evening. Prince was cremated early last week and his ashes were interred in the church's courtyard.
Prince, nicknamed the Gunner for his rapid-fire delivery, was known for his unabashed rooting for the Pirates, his loud sports jackets and colorful colloquialisms such as "Kiss it goodby" and "We had 'em all the way."
He was a Pirate broadcaster from 1948 until 1975, when he was fired by the Pirates, its broadcast sponsors and radio station KDKA. He returned to the Pirates' press box in early May, but broadcast only three games before he returned to the hospital.