Wednesday, August 11, 2010

RIP Nellie King

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that former Pirates player and broadcaster Nellie King has died. I hadn't heard of him until this past Christmas, when Mom and Dad got me a copy of his recent memoir, Happiness is like a Cur Dog, which I found to be a charming read. Along with documenting a tough childhood and (more amusingly) his passage through the minor leagues in the late '40s and early '50s, he warmly describes his contact with a few local sports heroes, principally Bill Mazeroski and Roberto Clemente, and for me (for whom everything prior to the Bucs' 1988 season is prehistory) reinforces a sense of pride and history in the Pirates franchise that has obviously deteriorated badly over the past two decades. So, although I don't know King's broadcasting work, he's recently enhanced my appreciation of the hometown baseball club a good deal.


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