A Pirates fan in a broadcasting booth, the zany, unpredictable, and intentionally controversial Prince was Pittsburgh’s beloved voice of the Pirates on KDKA radio for over two decades until he was unceremoniously fired in 1975. Nicknamed Gunner when the husband of a woman he was talking to pulled a gun on him in a bar, Prince joined Rosey Rowswell in the Pirates broadcast booth in 1948 and took over when Rowswell died in 1955.
On the air, Prince was always colorful, yelling “Arriba” when Roberto Clemente came to bat, and, “Spread some chicken on the hill” for Willie Stargell. His signature home run call – “You can kiss it goodbye” – became a broadcasting standard, and close Pirates victories invariably concluded with Prince announcing, “We had ’em all the way!”
Off the air, Prince was also colorful. He once dove into a hotel pool from a third-story window. But he had a serious side as well, cofounding the Allegheny Valley School for retarded children in 1960. When Prince was fired after squabbling with station management over his style, Pittsburgh held a downtown parade in his honor. He returned part-time in 1985, but after being released from the hospital broadcast only three games before falling ill again, and died less than a month later. He was inducted into the Writer’s Wing of the Hall of Fame in 1986.