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10/01/2008 3:04 PM ET
Pittsburgh Pirates play-by-play announcer Lanny Frattare to retire after 33 seasons
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The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced that the long time play-by-play announcer and voice of the Pirates, Lanny Frattare, has decided to retire from his television and radio play-by-play duties after 33 seasons. No other person has called the action for Pirates fans longer than Frattare.

"In the 122-year history of this proud franchise, nobody has brought the action to Pirates fans longer than Lanny. For 33 seasons his voice has been, and always will be, synonymous with Pirates baseball," said Frank Coonelly, Pirates President. "Lanny's positive impact on the Pirates and the Pittsburgh community reaches far beyond the broadcast booth. Whether it was the countless number of appearances he made in the community on behalf of the Pirates or his two decade-long personal push to raise funds for mentally challenged individuals in our area, Lanny is part of the fabric of this community."

Frattare, who joined the Pirates behind the microphone at the Major League level in 1976, became the 18th recipient of the "Pride of the Pirates" award in 2007. The "Pride of the Pirates" is a yearly honor (since 1990) which recognizes a member of the Pirates family who has demonstrated the qualities of sportsmanship, dedication and outstanding character during a lifetime of service. It is the only lifetime achievement award presented by the organization.

"Lanny has certainly demonstrated all of those qualities, and many others, during his distinguished tenure with the Pirates. The entire Pirates organization will sorely miss the sound of Lanny's voice calling Pirate baseball games, but we respect Lanny's decision to call it a career as a play-by-play man for the Pirates," said Coonelly. "The baseball season is a long and grueling one, especially for those like Lanny who put their heart and soul into the broadcast every night over a 162-game season."

"The decision to retire from the Pirates broadcast booth was something I have been thinking about and have discussed for some time, but a decision I did not make until after the final road trip of the season. It was a difficult and emotional decision, but in the end, I decided it was time," said Frattare. "It has been a privilege and an honor to bring Pirates baseball to the fans for more than 33 years. I owe it all to the strong support of my family, my broadcast partners, all of my colleagues throughout the years and, perhaps most importantly, the fans. Without the support and approval of the fans, I could not have realized my dream of calling baseball games for the Pirates for such an extended period of time. I look forward to remaining an active part of the Pirates family and the Pittsburgh community."

One of Frattare's personal commitments has been the Family Links Golf Classic that he has hosted in the region for the past 21 years. Over the past two decades, Lanny and his friends have raised more than $1 million in support of more than 32,000 children, families, and mentally challenged individuals served yearly by the Family Links Staff.

"It is important that we all recognize the significance of this moment in Pirates history and properly honor Lanny for his outstanding contributions," Coonelly added. "I ask the Hall of Fame voters to give serious consideration to Lanny's many contributions to the city, the Pirates and the game of baseball and consider him for recognition in the broadcaster's wing of the Hall of Fame. The Ford Frick Award recognizes the greatest broadcasters in the game's history and Lanny's accomplishments certainly warrant inclusion in this exclusive club. His place in the Hall would be well deserved, if not overdue."

The Pirates will host a special on-field ceremony at some point during the 2009 season to honor Frattare, with details to be announced at a later date.

The remainder of the Pirates' broadcast team, which includes play-by-play announcer Greg Brown and color analysts Bob Walk, Steve Blass and John Wehner, will return for the 2009 season. According to Coonelly, the Pirates have set no timetable to hire a new play-by-play announcer to replace Frattare, only that the search will be exhaustive and will begin immediately.
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