Chuck Tanner, the last Pirates’ manager to lead the team to a World Series championship, passed away on Friday. The celebrated Bucs’ skipper led the 1979 “We Are Family” club to a come-from-behind World Series victory, but, as everyone close to the game and close to Tanner himself remembers, he was one of baseball’s nicest guys.
Tanner died of a long illness in his hometown of
after spending time in hospice care. He was 82 years old. Management, players, and fans of the Pirates and Major League Baseball in general are grieving the loss of one of the game’s good guys, both on and off the field. New Castle, PA
He was known for his never-wavering confidence and an inherent belief that no deficit was too large to overcome. Tanner managed the White Sox, Athletics, Pirates, and Braves, finishing with a record of 1,352-1,381 from 1970-88, winning one division title while finishing in second place five times.
Of course, the most famous story displaying his irrepressible faith occurred on the day of Game 5 of the World Series in 1979 with the Pirates trailing 3-1 in the series. He woke that morning to learn that his mother had died in a nursing home in
. Tanner stuck with the team, made some difficult decisions surrounding the pitching rotation and lineup, and saw his team, led by Willie Stargell, sweep the final three games and clinch the series. New Castle
Media outlets, fan sites, and blogs from all across the country are mourning the death and celebrating the life of Chuck Tanner. For reactions to his passing from players, managers, and more, check out the Pirates Offical Website.
Let’s Go Bucs!