Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Lanny Frattare is retiring

This is sad news. More to come later.

MORE: What can a guy like me say about a guy like Lanny? For as long as I've watched and listened to the Pirates, his voice has been the one calling the games. I guess someone else will become the "Voice of the Pirates" next year, but it's always going to be Lanny in my head. I'm struggling to even find the right words to describe why it is that I'll miss Lanny so much, but I know that Pirate games aren't going to be the same.

Maybe that's what it is about Lanny that was so comforting. While some announcers are a nightly roller coaster of blind homerism and histrionics, Lanny has always been even keel and positive, but never so overtly positive that you felt like he was a robot controlled by the front office. Instead, being positive was just something you could hear in his voice; every night was a "good" night, every home run was urged on, "GO BALL! GET OUTTA HERE!" and no win in the 33 years he's called the Pirates has ever been in doubt.

Ever since I was a little kid, I've imagined the Pirates winning the World Series with Lanny exclaiming, "THE PIRATES WIN THE WORLD SERIES! AAAAAND THERE WAS NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DOUBT ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!" and it makes me genuinely sad that that's a line that I'm never going to be able to hear, even if the Pirates win the World Series. Now, all I can think of are hot summer nights when I was a little kid, when my parents would put me to bed and my dad would turn the Pirates on the radio so that I could listen as I fell asleep. There are some voices that were meant to call baseball games, and Lanny Fratarre's is one of them. So thank you, and good luck, Lanny. When this team is finally good again, there's not a Pirate fan that's alive right now that won't celebrate the biggest wins with a "No doubt about it."