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Friday, August 31, 2007

Buc Broadcaster - Bob Prince -Famous Sayings


Bob Prince was a broadcaster for the Bucs from 1948-1975. He was known for his colorful commentary and rapid fire delivery. Because of his quick tongue, he became affectionately known as "The Gunner".

During Prince's years with the Bucs, listeners either loved him or hated him, but they were always amused by him. He was a great Pirates fan, and he saw the club through some dark years as well as through a few championships.

On May 3, 1985, after a 10 year abscence, Prince returned to the Pirate broadcast booth for one encore as a Pirate announcer. At 68 years old, he was fighting and losing a battle with cancer, but during his encore broadcast, the magic returned, and the Bucs responded with a nine-run 4th inning on their way to a 16-2 victory over the Dodgers. Prince was only strong enough to announce two of his scheduled three innings, but he received three standing ovations from the crowd.

A month later. Bob Prince lost his battle with cancer. His name was displayed proudly in the Pirates broadcast booth at Three Rivers Stadium.

Bob Prince was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame as a broadcaster in 1986. He will live in our Pirate memories and our personal hall of fame forever.

Prince was known for his unique style of broadcast lingo. A new listener might need an English-to-Prince dictionary to understand his broadcasts. Here is a sampling of Bob Prince sayings and nicknames which we affectionately call "Gunnerisms". Several members of the Pirates e-mail list sent in their favorite Gunnerisms. Special thanks goes to Father John Hissrich (, Gary Davis ( and all my other contributing authors. Here is a collection of various contributions: Sayings:
A Baltimore chop base hit that would go higher than normal due to the extraordinarily hard infield at Forbes Field

Prince's cry to Roberto Clemente to hit one up and over the wall.

A pitcher would be throwing a ball so hard it looked as tiny and as hard to hit as an aspirin tablet. As in, "Veale's firin' aspirin tablets out there tonight."

Hard line drives right to an infielder - it was at 'em. "Law has his At'em ball workin' tonight."

Prince developed babushkas that the women in the stands could wear to bring the Pirates luck. It was, in a sense, a later version of the Green Weenie.

"THE BASES ARE F.O.B." (full of Bucs)
What was needed now, was a bingle, a dying quail, perhaps a bug on the rug...

A little hit; a small single; perhaps a bunt single. Just something that would get a Bucco on base.


A quick way to get two runs through a single (the bloop) and a home run (the blast), as in, "The Buccos are down by one run going to the bottom of the ninth. What we need here is a bloop and a blast."

A basehit that skittered through the gap, particularly on artificial turf.

A very small margin indeed, as in, "That ball just missed. It was foul by a gnat's eyelash."

A home run for Willie Stargell, begun by the fact that Stargell owned a chicken restaurant in Pittsburgh's Hill District and that whenever he homered, the person at the counter would get free chicken. Thus, Prince would say, "We need a homer here. Come on, Willie, spread some Chicken on the Hill." In one particular game, Prince said that if Stargell hit a home run, everybody in the restaurant would get free chicken. Stargell did hit the home run, everyone got free chicken, and Stargell sent the bill to Prince.

a little closer than a gnat's eyelash.

A cheer to get firstbaseman Dick Stuart out of a slump.

Rocky Nelson, 1b-man alternating with Stuart.

A little bloop, a tweener, or a bingle; a hit that falls in like a shot quail would.

A device invented by the Gunner to jinx and perhaps spook opposing players, the green weenie was the size and shape of a hot dog. When pointed at the opponents and shaken, it rattled and supposedly put a jinx on them.

This is what the Gunner would say when a batter chased a pitch way outside. Take one of the slats out from under a full sized bed and notice how much longer it is than a bat, and you get an idea that the batter was definitely chasing.

in response to a called 3rd strike.

Similar to the law of averages, it was the force which dictated that a player who was in a slump was due for a big hit, as in, "Stargell is Oh for his last eight, so with hidden vigorish he should get a big hit here."

A double play by which the Bucs would clean up the basepaths. When someone complained that Prince was giving free advertising to a particular brand of vacuum cleaner, he tried to invent a story about President Herbert Hoover's cleaning up corruption in Washington.

After suffering through some terrible Bucco teams in the early- 1950's, Prince got to enjoy the taste of victory in 1960 and throughout the early-1970's with the Battlin' Bucs. The taste of a championship, a mid-season victory, or a home run that would put the Bucs ahead would draw out "How sweet it is".

The most famous of Prince's sayings; this was his well-known home run call.

No one knew exactly who she was (or whether she was related to Jimmy Durante's Mrs. Calabash), but Prince would end each broadcast by saying, "Good night, Mary Edgerley, wherever you are."

A can of corn; refers to an easy fly ball. Immortalized in 1970 when Matty Alou dropped a "can of corn" against the Cubs, and the Bucs had to wait another day to clinch their first pennent in 10 years.

"Koufax just threw Stuart his radio ball. He could hear it, but he couldn't see it." "Low hummin' riser." (Similar to a radio ball)

"It's rug cuttin' time." More commonly known as "crunch time." "For all the money, marbles, and chalk." Deciding moment. Crunch time.

When a pitcher gives up a lot of hits but doesn't give up serious runs. Escapes without serious damage being done.

Can't get a break. The Bucs are snake bit tonight.

a high pitch was up around a sluggers mouth, or lips, or "soup coolers". Prince often said Stargell was looking for a pitch up around his "soup coolers".

A ball that got "between" the outfielders; similar to a "bug on a rug", but it could occur on grass or as a "bloop" hit that fell in between fielders; hopefully, followed by a Bucco "blast".

Spoken after a close win by the Pirates, it indicated that we should have known all along that the Pirates would win. It was perhaps the father of Lanny Frattare's "No doubt about it."

Bob "Beetles" Bailey
Nellie Briles: "the Rainmaker"
Smokey Burgess : "Shake, rattle, and roll."
Donn "Clink" Clendenon
Gene "Little Angry" Clines
Elroy Face: The Baron of the Bullpen
Dick Groat: (no.24) was sometimes called "Double-Dozen"
Harvey Haddix: "Kitten"
Don Hoak: "the Tiger"
Ralph Kiner: from Alhambra CA, was The Alhambra Kid, or the Alhambra Hammer.
Ed "Spanky" Kirkpatrick
Vern Law: "the Deacon"
Gene Michael: was "the Stick."
Manny Sanguillen: was the "Road Runner", long before Ralph Garr stole the nickname.
Dick "Ducky" Schofield: not to be confused with his son Dickie who was also a ML player.
Willie Stargell: was Willie La Starge or Wilver Dornell (his given name).
Bob Skinner: was "Doggie"
Bill Virdon: was "The Quail"
Jim "Possum" Woods: one of Prince's fellow broadcasters.

Class Reunion Picture - 1969

Click on Picture to Enlarge
Add any Comments Below.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wine Cellar Update

In this post we chronicle the 2nd week of Garbo's Wine Cellar Project.

During this week we completed excavation, including the footers that surround and support the perimeter of the above ground structure. The footers are 1.5 feet deep and 12" wide.

We brought in 7 tons of sand and compacted to a 4" base for the concrete.

Next, up went the forms to shape the pouring of the footers and the 4" deep concrete slab. Within the formed area we placed steel wire mesh tied into rebar for reenforcement.

We started pumping in 8 yards of concrete from the street around noon time, and finally completed the hand finishing of the concrete surface during the waning daylight hours.

Now we wait 4 to 5 days while the concrete cures.

Another look at the entrance to the Fall Out/Bomb Shelter soon to be Wine Cellar.

Click on Pics to Enlarge

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Great Message, Ray........... and certainly worth sharing!

Dick Garboski

----- Original Message ----
From: Ray Butka <>

A friend of mine opened his wife's drawer and picked up a silk paper wrapped package: This, - he said -'isn't any ordinary package.'

He unwrapped the box and stared at both the silk paper and the box. She got this the first time we went to New York, 8 or 9 years ago. She has never put it on, was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is it. On the bed, he placed the gift box next to the other clothing he was taking to the funeral house, his wife had just died.

He turned to me and said: 'Never save something for a special occasion. Try to make every day in your life is a special occasion'.

I still think those words changed my life. Now I read more and clean less, sit on the porch without worrying about anything.

I spend more time with my family, and less at work.

I understood that life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not survived through. I no longer keep anything. I use crystal
glasses every day... I'll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket, if I feel like it.

I don't save my special perfume for special occasions; I use it whenever I want to. The words 'Someday...' and 'One Day...' are fading away from my dictionary.

If it's worth seeing, listening or doing, I want to see, listen or do it now. I don't know what my friend's wife would have done
if she knew she wouldn't be there the next morning, this nobody can tell. I think she might have called her relatives and closest friends.
She might call old friends to make peace over past quarrels. I'd like to think she would go out for Chinese, her favorite food. It's these small
things that I would regret not doing, if I knew my time had come. I would regret it, because I would no longer see the friends I would
meet, and those letters... that I wanted to write One of these days'.

I would regret and feel sad, because I didn't say to my brother and sisters, son and daughters, not times enough at least, how much
I love them.

Now, I try not to delay, postpone or keep anything that could bring laughter and joy into our lives..

And, on each morning, I say to myself that this could be a special day.....Each day, each hour, each minute, is special.

If you got this, it's because someone cares for you and because, probably, there's someone you care about.

If you're too busy to send this out to other people and you say to yourself that you will send it 'One of these days', remember that 'One
day' is far away... or might never come...

No matter if you're superstitious or not, spend some time, read this once again.

It holds a useful messages for the soul.

Don't keep this message, for here's the fun of it: Send copies and You'll have a pleasant surprise.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fwd: 1960's reunion picnic

From: Jim Herron
Date: Aug 15, 2007 8:09 AM
Subject: 1960's reunion picnic

Here are a couple of pictures Arnold Cushner took at the Class of 1960's picnic to which they invited grads from the 1950s & 1960s. 

Fran & I were the only ones from 1959. 

We are in one photo with Susan Bell Rossero.  The other shows, from right, Ron Bish, Gary Kirr, Marion DiCio Kirr, and somebody (no, it's not Stan Bostjancic).  In the background are a lot of other somebodies. 

That's Frannie Horvath with his back toward us, between Bish and Kirr.

Jim Herron

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Wine Cellar Project Begins

Click on Pics to Enlarge

s I have mentioned to some, in the 1950's a bomb/fall-out shelter was built in an area toward the back of my property. It was built out 12" thick re-enforced concrete. It measures about 12' x 16', is nine feet high and the top of the shelter is about 4 feet below ground level.

I plan to build a structure over it and convert the below ground shelter into a wine cellar.

The above three pictures show the initial stage of site prep, layout and excavation.

The entrance, a 14 step stairwell, that was constructed to access the below ground shelter
can be seen in the pictures.

The two 4 inch galvanized pipes seen extending up from the ground surface are apart of a
hand cranked air filtering system. .

Dick Garboski
1978 Havenwood Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Canonsburg Class of 1957 Reunion

From: Diane Diamond
Date: Aug 7, 2007 10:32 AM

To: Dick Garboski

Hi, Dick. Our class of 1957 50th reunion is being handled by Tom and Carole Burrows.

The grand event will be held on Saturday, August 25, 2007 at the Rolling Hills Country Club at 455 East McMurray Road in McMurray, PA. The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., Dinner is 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. -- and the party begins right after dinner until everyone goes home! About 60 classmates are signed on already.

If interested in attending and for dinner prices, please call Tom or Carole Burrows at 724-941-2427 or

I did see "Stogie" Broglia at our 45th class reunion. He looked very good -- still handsome and very fit, did you know him? The last address I have for him is 107 Williams Drive, McDonald, PA 15057.

I'm going to tell my classmates Estelle and Nelson Porter, Dottie Kokalis Zikos , Tom and Carole Burrows and Rosemarie and Frank Sluciak about your blog. If they contact you, you'll know they were recommended.

I told Tom and Carole that if they wanted to give me all the details on the reunion, I would be happy to post it for them.

Until again, stay well.

Diane S. Diamantopoulos

Sophmores 1957

Dave Delanie while reminiscing through his 1957 Canonsburg H.S. yearbook came across these Sophomore class pictures.

Thank You DD.

Click on Pics to Enlarge.

And by the way what ever happened to:

Helen Buterbaugh

Norman Bates
George Crosson
Judy Jacoby
John Graff
John Hixenbaugh
Mary Gulyban
John Gonglik
Ernie Lombardi
Paul Sebelia
Susan Wiggs
Dorthes Schussler
James Woods
Kent Skiles
Pat Zagar
Angela Lipari
Rosemary Ladzinski
Charlotte Hoffer
Joyce Fife
Joseph Kubacki
Beverly Mavrich
Carol Schmidt
Daniel Mandis
Marion Olminsky
Edwin Pieza
Michael Nockoul
Louise Marosz
Bob Markle

Monday, August 6, 2007

Canonsburg Blog Sign-On

Hi Dick. I am doing as you indicated by using email to get a posting on to the Canonsburg Friends Blog:

I appear in the 1957 Yearbook pictures displayed below. I was VERY pleased to see my picture. Since that photo was taken, my cousin Xanthipe Scoumis and Sonny Scovotti, shown on the same page, have died. And to those who knew people from the class of '57, my good friend Marlene Richards Callabro has also passed away.

This September, we will be celebrating our 50th class reunion. I will post more information as time goes on. Thank you for this wonderful site -- this marvelous trip back to some good old days.

Diane Sculuca Diamantopoulos

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Canonsburg Friend's Tribute to the Class of 1957

As a tribute the 50th anniversary of the Canonsburg High School Class of 1957 we are displaying their yearbook graduation pictures on the blog.

The above Stills of the 1957 Grad pictures can be found in the Class of 1957 Picture Album.

Pictures courtesy of Dave Delanie - (Keep them coming DD!)