The Professor has died, and for Braves fans of a certain age, it’s a big loss. The Original Big Three — Pete, Skip and Ernie — are all gone.
Pete Van Wieren’s voice was always reassuring. He avoided the hyperbole so pervasive among today’s announcers. Those of us who loved the Braves knew Pete loved them, too, but that wasn’t going to stop him from giving it to us straight.
I lived in L.A. for six years but rarely got homesick because I had Pete and Skip on the Superstation. More recently, whenever I wrote an article about the Braves, I knew just where to go for a good quote or anecdote. No one knew the Braves better than the Professor.
It’s a sad day but I can’t help but be a little angry. Each member of the Big Three deserves to be in Cooperstown but none have been inducted. Yet somehow the HOF has room for a gasbag like Milo Hamilton. Shameful.
Thanks for the memories, Pete, and for passing along your love of the Braves to a generation of fans. You were the best.