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A loss for all of baseball


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I have just learned of the passing of Pete Van Wieren, a member of the Atlanta Braves broadcast team for 33 years. Van Wieren, who was affectionately known as "The Professor" for his seemingly endless knowledge of baseball facts and figures, lost his battle to cancer at age 69. Van Wieren retired in 2008, shortly after the death of his longtime broadcast partner Skip Caray.
 
Anyone who spent any amount of time in the south, or the millions across the country who followed the Braves on TBS before the current round of baseball broadcast contracts, knew Van Wieren's smooth, easy delivery as he educated you about the game and its players without talking down to you. Never one to call attention to himself, Van Wieren had the demeanor of a wise old uncle who you always went to for the answers. Baseball is poorer for his loss.
 
Rest in peace, Professor.

Edited by Vegas Halo Fan
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Van Wieren was the last of the outstanding group of three broadcasters the Braves put together for their TBS broadcast team. Ernie Johnson, Sr., a former pitcher for the team and the man for whom the broadcast booth at the stadium is named, passed away in 2011. His style was somewhat similar to Van Wieren's, but as a former MLB player he brought a different perspective. The other member was Skip Caray, son of the legendary Harry Caray. Skip passed away in 2008. Skip was more brash, sometimes irritated, often sarcastic, and he was not afraid to point out when the Braves were playing poorly - much to the chagrin of management at times, I'm sure. At one point during the down years (prior to 1991) I clearly remember Skip's call during a blowout loss (I don't recall the opponent): "You are witnessing the complete collapse of a pitching staff." That was vintage Skip.

 

I never warmed up to Don Sutton. He struck me as being a little arrogant, plus he was a Dodger. Joe Simpson did a decent job during his years with TBS.

 

Another one-time part of this team was John Sterling. Fortunately he wasn't with TBS for long. I never liked him in Atlanta, and when he went to the Yankees he became intolerable. His home run calls and his calls at the end of Yankee victories make it plain that it is all about him.

Edited by Vegas Halo Fan
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this brings back the WTBS days when every Braves game was telecast on WTBS.

 

fans of the Braves' opponents always knew they could see their team on TV when they played the Braves.

 

this was back in the day (really, before ESPN carried many, if any, MLB games, before ESPN Sunday night and Monday night games) when there were very few national or local telecasts of games. The Braves were always on and they had pretty good viewership from baseball fans (like me) who would rather watch a baseball game than anything else that might have been on TV at the time.

 

Dodgers fans may have a throw-back moment to those early TBS days this week when they get to see the Angels/ Dodgers games on TV on the Angels telecasts.

 

Van Wieren was part of that long WTBS Braves run which lasted a long time........Skip Carey and Ernie Johnson were the 'big' names on those telecasts and the original poster is spot on-- Van Wieren did not care to draw attention to himself just did a steady job on the broadcasts.  I really liked Ernie Johnson Sr.-- I kind of forgot he passed away but probably read about it at the time -- in fact, thinking about it now -- didn't he pass away suddenly during spring training -- I seem to recall he did his final game in an ST vs. the Washington Nats.

 

I still recall watching the final WTBS TV broadcast  (in terms of the every game schedule -- I'm sure they still have some Braves games on but it's not the same and have not watched one in years -- now) -- that's been a while back now and I seem to recall Ernie Johnson doing sort of historical retrospective of the Braves on WTBS.......Skip Carey had passed away by the time of that final broadcast but they showed clips of him -- and the others, Don Sutton -- I thought Sutton was OK.  Daren Sutton is probably better.

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Van Wieren was part of that long WTBS Braves run which lasted a long time........Skip Carey and Ernie Johnson were the 'big' names on those telecasts and the original poster is spot on-- Van Wieren did not care to draw attention to himself just did a steady job on the broadcasts.  I really liked Ernie Johnson Sr.-- I kind of forgot he passed away but probably read about it at the time -- in fact, thinking about it now -- didn't he pass away suddenly during spring training -- I seem to recall he did his final game in an ST vs. the Washington Nats.

 

I still recall watching the final WTBS TV broadcast  (in terms of the every game schedule -- I'm sure they still have some Braves games on but it's not the same and have not watched one in years -- now) -- that's been a while back now and I seem to recall Ernie Johnson doing sort of historical retrospective of the Braves on WTBS.......Skip Carey had passed away by the time of that final broadcast but they showed clips of him -- and the others, Don Sutton -- I thought Sutton was OK.  Daren Sutton is probably better.

 

When I watch Braves games now it isn't the same for me either. Watching the games on TBS was a treat, especially listening to Ernie, Skip and Pete bringing you the game every night. It was like sitting around with old friends. What games are on now are on Fox Sports South, and I couldn't even tell you who announces them. I was a huge Braves fan for years and followed them very closely. Since the demise of TBS that has tailed off quite a bit. I'm still a fan, but I know far more about the Angels than I do the Braves these days.

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Van Wieren was the last of the outstanding group of three broadcasters the Braves put together for their TBS broadcast team. Ernie Johnson, Sr., a former pitcher for the team and the man for whom the broadcast booth at the stadium is named, passed away in 2011. His style was somewhat similar to Van Wieren's, but as a former MLB player he brought a different perspective. The other member was Skip Caray, son of the legendary Harry Caray. Skip passed away in 2008. Skip was more brash, sometimes irritated, often sarcastic, and he was not afraid to point out when the Braves were playing poorly - much to the chagrin of management at times, I'm sure. At one point during the down years (prior to 1991) I clearly remember Skip's call during a blowout loss (I don't recall the opponent): "You are witnessing the complete collapse of a pitching staff." That was vintage Skip.

 

I never warmed up to Don Sutton. He struck me as being a little arrogant, plus he was a Dodger. Joe Simpson did a decent job during his years with TBS.

 

Another one-time part of this team was John Sterling. Fortunately he wasn't with TBS for long. I never liked him in Atlanta, and when he went to the Yankees he became intolerable. His home run calls and his calls at the end of Yankee victories make it plain that it is all about him.

outstanding post.

Completely agree with your sentiments

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The Braves were playing the Giants one time, and  Jeffrey Leonard was up with 1 out for the Giants.  Chip Carey says that the late night movie will be on "as soon as Leonard hits into a 6-4-3."  The next pitch.... Leonard hits into a
6-4-3.

 

(its 17 seconds long, go ahead and watch)

 

good times.

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Judging from the uniforms and the fact that Gene Garber was on the mound, I'm guessing that this was in 1987. The Braves were absolutely dreadful back then, really hard to watch. Amazingly that team didn't finish last in the NL West, only losing 92 games. Houston was five games worse. Pretty good year for the Braves of that era (anything less than 100 losses was considered a bonus).

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