SAN DIEGO — Pete Van Wieren, the beloved and highly respected former Braves broadcaster, died Saturday morning following a long battle with cancer. He was 69.
Known as “The Professor” for his encyclopedic knowledge of the game, Van Wieren spent 33 years broadcasting Braves games on television and radio, and was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame in 2004 along with the late Skip Caray, his longtime broadcasting partner.
They formed an iconic broadcasting team, first with the late Ernie Johnson and later as a duo, on games heard across North America on Superstation TBS for much of their tenure.
“The Atlanta Braves are deeply saddened by the passing of Pete Van Wieren,” the team said in a statement. “He was such a large and important part of our organization. We and all of our fans across Braves Country fondly remember his soothing voice calling our games for 33 years. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Elaine, his children and his grandchildren.”
Van Wieren, a native of Rochester, N.Y., joined Turner Sports as a Braves broadcaster in December 1975. He also broadcast Hawks and Flames games, Big Ten Conference football games, and NBA games on TBS and TNT.
The wonderful chemistry over many years between Van Wieren and the irreverent Caray made them as popular and as identifiable with Braves baseball as the ballplayers themselves, especially given the far-flung reach of TBS back in the day.
Caray died on Aug. 3, 2008, and Van Wieren retired 3 1/2 months later, shortly after the Braves season ended.
In 2010, Van Wieren co-authored a book, “Of Mikes and Men: A Lifetime of Braves Baseball,” with former Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Jack Wilkinson.
Van Wieren is survived by his wife of 50 years, Elaine, sons Jon and Steve, daughter-in-law Starla, and granddaughters Chaney, Grace and Becca.
Funeral arrangements have not been determined. It will be a private service.