Former Pirates pitcher and broadcaster Nellie King died today at age 82 after a battle with colon cancer and pneumonia. Nelson Joseph King was born in 1928 and pitched for the Pirates from 1954-57. After his playing days were over he began a broadcasting career and from 1967-75 announced Pirate games with Bob Prince.
Mr. King then joined Duquesne University as Sports Information Director, a position he held till he "retired" in 1992 and then became golf coach at the university.
Duquesne Associate Athletic Director Dave Saba said Nellie had a way of slowing down the day....."He'd stop by and be able to tell you a story that left a smile on your face. Every time he left the room, you felt a little bit better. I don't know if there's a higher compliment you can pay to someone. We'll miss him dearly."
Ray Goss, who has been the Duquesne Dukes basketball play-by-play announcer for 41 years, partnered with Nellie for 24 of those years...
"We traveled together, roomed together, ate together.....and of course, we talked..about basketball, politics, religion...he was a terrific guy. It's like part of me is missing because of his death."
Goss visited Mr. King last Thursday and said he was very weak and "I knew it was coming."
Goss says Mr. King was a great storyteller and during last week's visit, Goss says Mr. King told him that he was glad he finally got his book, "Happiness is like a Cur Dog: The Thirty-Year Journey of a Major League Baseball Pitcher and Broadcaster," published in 2009.
Nellie King is survived by his wife, Bernadette and daughters, Laura, Leslie and Amy. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.