The Fam-A-Lee lost one of its great figures.
Notice I couldn’t say its father figure. The 1979 Pirates had only one daddy… that would be Pops Stargell.
But Chuck Tanner was the manager of those 1979 Pirates and it was his enthusiasm and positivity that gave them a steady hand as they beat a powerful Orioles squad after trailing 3 games to 1.
He managed contenders for the White Sox and the end of the 1970s A’s run where he finished second. Then was traded as a manager to the Pirates for Manny Sanguillen.
Sanguillen would return to the Pirates and help with a key pinch hit single in the 1979 World Series.
Tanner would later manage the Braves where he brought Stargell along to be on his coaching staff.
The Fam-A-Lee has a new Hall of Famer this year with Bert Blyleven and last year they lost Jim Bibby. Now Tanner is gone.
Anyone who knows me knows that the 1979 World Series holds a very special place in my heart. It was the first World Series I watched every game of and the first one I got emotional about.
I love that ’79 Pirates team and as I wrote before, I thought everything about that World Series was great.
So cue up Sister Sledge and tip your star covered hat.
Rest in peace Chuck Tanner… you will always be part of the Fam-A-Lee.