Frattare, T-Rantula, Palermo and Scicluna Make Up KSWA Hall of Fame 2016
March 26, 2016
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
Long-time Pittsburgh sports broadcaster Lanny Frattare is the newest inductee into the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA)/Pittsburgh Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Frattare, who has often served as a Special Guest Ring Announcer for matches during FanFest, was surprised with the designation. He was asked to be at the 9th Annual Joe Abby Memorial Night to induct Studio Wrestling stalwart Baron Mikel Scicluna. Frattare's induction had been held under wraps for months.
As Pittsburgh sports fans know, Frattare was the voice of Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates for 33 years. His tenure was the longest in franchise history. In 2008, Frattare was nominated for the Ford Frick Award, an award given by the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame for broadcasting excellence. Frattare retired from the Pirates after the 2008 season.
Since that time, Frattare has worked at Waynesburg University as assistant professor of Communications in the Department of Communications, as well as faculty advisor to college station WCYJ-FM. He has also assisted in University Relations.
Frattare has also kept extremely busy as a WPIAL sports broadcaster for MSA Sports Network. During high school football seasons, Frattare is frequently partnered with KSWA Owner Bobby O. It was that friendship that lead to Frattare making annual appearances for the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance.
A well-known perfectionist, Frattare has enjoyed his work inside the squared circle. When he was unable to attend the 2014 FanFest because of a previous commitment, Frattare filmed a short video apologizing to the KSWA Krazies and promising to be back in 2015. He kept that promise.
Frattare is just the latest in a long line of baseball announcers who also made appearance in professional wrestling. Leading the way in Pittsburgh, of course, was former Pirate player and Hall of Famer Pie Traynor. Traynor was a broadcaster, along with KSWA Class of 2014 Hall of Famer "Chilly" Bill Cardille. Also, now-former Pirate broadcaster Tim Neverett interviewed wrestlers such as Pennsylvania-native, "Big" John Studd back in the 1980's.
Former Pirate catcher Joe Garagiola broadcasted "Wrestling At The Chase," a version of televised in St. Louis, from 1959 to 1963.
Long-time NWA and WCW announcer Tony Schiavone worked as a baseball broadcaster in the minor leagues before joining professional wrestling. In fact, Schiavone returned to baseball after his career in wrestling ended.
In addition, Milwaukee Braves play-by-play man Bob Uecker was a celebrity guest during Wrestlemania III. Uecker, based on one appearance, was named to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010.
It was national news earlier this year when Neverett took a job in Boston and former WWE announcer Jim Ross said in a tweet that he would take the job if offered. It wasn't.
In addition to three decades of baseball broadcasting and nearly a decade of WPIAL sports excellence, Frattare also commentated over one of the most unusual moments in TV history. He was the play-by-play announcer on February 23, 1985 when Indiana University head basketball coach infamously tossed a plastic chair across the court during the first five minutes of a contest with Purdue in Bloomington, Indiana.
Frattare continues to host the Family Links Golf Classic, a fundraiser that has netted nearly $2 million over its 20-plus year history.
Many KSWA Krazies are huge baseball and Pirates fans. They have embraced Frattare with open arms since day one.
Frattare has also been credited for being inspirations to both KSWA Owner Bobby O and Ring Announcer Trapper Tom, who broadcasted sports together while in college during the mid-to-late 1980's.
The KSWA/Pittsburgh Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame, Class of 2016 is made up of Baron Mikel Scicluna, Eugene Palermo, current KSWA Megastar T-Rantula and Lanny Frattare.