Late Braves announcer Van Wieren honored at G-Braves game

LAWRENCEVILLE – A moment of silence was held for former Atlanta Braves broadcaster Pete Van Wieren before Saturday night’s game between Gwinnett and Charlotte at Coolray Field.

Van Wieren died early in the day at age 69 almost exactly six years after the passing of longtime TV and radio partner Skip Caray.

The pair called games for 33 seasons (1976-2008) and were inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame together in 2004.

Van Wieren, who had battled lymphoma for more than four years, died at his home in north Fulton County. He had been put under hospice care recently.

Van Wieren, nicknamed “The Professor” for his scholarly look and encyclopedic memory, emceed the 40th anniversary celebration of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run at Turner Field on opening night this year.

His health, though, took a turn for the first shortly afterwards.

Skip and Pete were known nationwide thanks to TBS’ cable reach and Van Wieren made the decision to retire shortly after his partner died. The broadcast both at Turner Field is named after him.

Van Wieren, who was born in Rochester, N.Y., wrote an autobiography entitled “Of Mikes and Men” with Jack Wilkinson after his retirement and held a book signing during one of his several visits to Coolray Field.

Van Wieren broadcast the International League games of the then Tidewater Tides before being hired by Atlanta.