During a long period when it was great to be a Pirates fan -- win or lose -- broadcaster Nellie King was one of the people who made it great. One could walk along a western Pennsylvania street and follow the Pirates game, without missing a pitch, from the voices of Bob Prince and Nellie King, relayed by a series of radios on front porches. King's kindness, insight and steady bearing were the perfect complement to Prince's unrestrained, prickly brilliance.
As a player (four Pirates seasons), King never scored a run, never hit safely, never committed an error. But he nonetheless was a great contributor to the game.
After the Pirates become a subsidy-sucking, disgusting laughingstock (and had no use for a man of King's caliber), Nellie King retained his dignity, serving as a coach, publicist and basketball voice for Duquesne University and also serving as a lovable reminder of the Pirates' glory.
A fine man, Nellie King died yesterday, aged 82. If the Pirates, or Pittsburgh, are to regain their footing, they will need to replace the likes of Nellie King.
GO!! GO!! GO!! GO!! GO!!
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