Bob Prince

From BR Bullpen

Robert Prince, Sr.
(The Gunner)

Biographical Information[edit]

Bob Prince was a beloved broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He joined the club, teaming with Rosey Rowswell in 1948. When Rowswell's health caused him to scale back his duties, Prince became the top broadcaster for the club.

When a home run was hit, he and Rowswell would talk about a fictional Aunt Minnie who had to open her window so the ball could fly through. Rowswell would say "Open the window, Aunt Minnie, here it comes." The pair would then create the sound of breaking glass in the studio where the game was being recreated.

Prince was known for his jovial style and rapid delivery. His "Princeisms" became well known. His signature home run call was "Kiss it good bye!" This was especially when fortuitous when the "bases are f.o.b.", full of Bucs. He teamed up with Jim Woods from 1958 to 1969, until the latter got fed up withe exigencies of the parent Westinghouse Corporation and decided to part ways, breaking up a legendary broadcasting tandem. Woods was replaced with former Pirates pitcher Nellie King, but tensions with the upper levels did not improve.

Prince and his partner King were replaced in 1975 when another disagreement arose with station management. Prince spent a decade as a nomad working a year for the Houston Astros, then ABC television on the Game of the Week, and in various projects in Pittsburgh.

In 1985, the moribund Pirates brought Prince back to the team to call games. Prince was suffering from cancer, but he was able to return in May. He called just three games before the cancer returned and forced him out of the booth. He entered the hospital for the last time and died on June 10th.

"The Gunner" was awarded the Ford Frick Award posthumously in 1986.


Further Reading[edit]

  • James Forr: "Bob Prince", in Clifton Blue Parker and Bill Nowlin, ed.: Sweet '60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2013, pp. 257-266. ISBN 978-1-93359-948-9

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