Longtime Braves broadcaster Van Wieren dies at 69
ATLANTA (AP) — Pete Van Wieren, the bespectacled broadcaster who was part of the landmark team that carried Atlanta Braves games throughout the nation on Ted Turner’s “SuperStation,” died Saturday after a long battle with cancer, the team said. He was 69.
Affectionately known as “The Professor” for his encyclopedic knowledge of the game and long hours of research before each broadcast, Van Wieren spent 33 years with the Braves before retiring in 2008, shortly after the death of his longtime partner Skip Caray.
“The Atlanta Braves are deeply saddened by the passing of Pete Van Wieren,” the team said in a statement. “He was such a large and important part of our organization. We and all of our fans across Braves country fondly remember his soothing voice calling our games for 33 years. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Elaine, his children and his grandchildren.”
A native of Rochester, New York, Van Wieren had been calling games for the Triple-A Tidewater Tides when the Braves hired him before the 1976 season to join a new three-man broadcast team with Caray and Ernie Johnson.
The trio would soon become known to baseball fans around the nation thanks to Turner, the team’s brash owner, who began beaming games via satellite on a once-obscure Atlanta television station.