Summary: Bob Prince was a renowned sportscaster, best known for his coverage of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Despite his success in the broadcasting industry, his net worth at the time of his death was not substantial. However, looking at his impact and influence on the sports world reveals his true value.
1. Early Life and Career
Born in 1916, Bob Prince grew up in Los Angeles and attended college in San Diego. After a brief stint in minor league baseball, he entered the broadcasting industry, starting as a radio announcer in small towns in the midwest. In 1948, he was hired by WWSW-AM in Pittsburgh to cover football and basketball games. In 1949, he began covering Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games, where he would remain for the next 28 years.
Prince’s style was characterized by his enthusiasm, catchphrases, and colorful language. He was known for his ability to make a game exciting, even if it wasn’t particularly close, and his love for the Pirates and the city of Pittsburgh was evident in every broadcast.
Despite his success, Prince was not excessively paid. In fact, reports indicate that he often took pay cuts in order to stay with the Pirates. By the time of his death in 1985, his estate was valued at less than $500,000.
2. Broadcasting Career Highlights
Over the course of his 38-year broadcasting career, Bob Prince had many highlights. Some of the most notable include:
Pennant-winning seasons: Prince covered the Pirates’ pennant-winning seasons of 1960, 1971, and 1979. Each time, his calls of the final out in the deciding game are remembered fondly by Pirates fans.
World Series victory: In 1960, the Pirates won the World Series, and Prince’s call of Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off home run in Game 7 has become one of the most famous in baseball history.
All-Star Games: Prince covered 26 All-Star Games, starting in 1951 and ending in 1982.
3. Impact on Broadcasting Industry
Bob Prince’s distinctive style had a significant impact on the broadcasting industry. He was known for his use of catchphrases, such as “You can kiss it goodbye,” “We had ’em all the way,” and “There’s a bug loose on the field.” These phrases became part of Pittsburgh lore and helped to create a sense of community among Pirates fans.
In addition, Prince’s broadcasting influenced future announcers. Many sports broadcasters have cited him as an inspiration, including former Pirates broadcaster Lanny Frattare and ESPN announcer Chris Berman.
Prince also pioneered the use of statistics in baseball broadcasts. He was the first broadcaster to mention batting averages during a game, and he frequently used other stats to help explain the action on the field. This approach is now commonplace in sports broadcasting.
4. Philanthropy and Awards
Despite his relatively modest net worth at the time of his death, Bob Prince was involved in many charitable endeavors over the course of his life. He supported organizations like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the American Heart Association, and he helped to raise millions of dollars for these causes.
Prince was also the recipient of many awards during his career. In 1974, he was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame, and he was later inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the Radio Hall of Fame.
Bob Prince’s legacy continues to live on in Pittsburgh and beyond. His catchphrases and love for the Pirates are still remembered fondly by fans, and his influence on the broadcasting industry is still felt today. In 2011, the Pirates unveiled a statue of Prince at PNC Park, where it stands as a reminder of his impact on the team and the city.
Though his net worth may not have been substantial, Bob Prince was rich in other ways. His impact on the sports world, his charitable efforts, and his love for his community are what truly made him valuable.
Bob Prince’s net worth may not have been impressive, but his impact on the sports world and the broadcasting industry is immeasurable. His distinctive style, enthusiasm, and love for the Pittsburgh Pirates endeared him to fans and inspired future announcers. His charitable efforts and involvement in his community also reflect the kind of person he was. Though he may have left this world with less than half a million dollars to his name, his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.