In the summer of 2006, I was living in Florida and was able to catch a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Florida Marlins, in Miami. I had no idea what was to come! As I walked to my seats, I noticed the Pirates announcers standing outside the media entrance. I hesitated but decided to say hello. Really – I am in Miami, Florida and know who announces games for the Pirates? Yes, I am a big fan!
They were gracious. After I met them all, I walked away and then stopped, dead in my tracks; I wanted a picture. They obliged and I became the proud owner of a picture of me with Greg Brown, Lanny Frattare, and Bob Walk. How could this get better for a Pirates fan? That picture is the greatest of my life!
Later that summer, I was listening to a Pirates broadcast on my XM Radio and the game was in a rain delay. At that point, Greg Brown gave out his email address. I emailed him. I told him my dreams of working for the Pirates and informed him about my degree in broadcasting. I didn’t expect an email back, but he replied. When I opened it, I was shocked, to say the least! He gave me his cell phone number and said he wanted to talk to me. Excited as anyone could be (I was like a kid in the candy store!), one day I picked up the phone and dialed the number. Yes, Greg Brown answered. I wasn’t sure what to say, but I did my best! At that point, I didn’t care what happened, I was talking to Greg Brown!
After the conversation, I took what he had to say to heart; I was talking to Greg Brown and that meant a lot to me! A few months later, I was in Pittsburgh during my annual trip (with some family members), so I emailed him hoping he would remember me. Not only did he remember me, we met up and he brought Steve Blass with him to meet us!
There I was, at PNC Park with my dad, uncle and brother (my dad and uncle are old enough to remember Steve Blass getting the win in 1971 to make the Pirates the World Champions!). I asked Steve Blass for a picture with my dad and uncle and he said ok! At that point I thought, “Am I living a dream?” I was speechless and proud! My dad and uncle asked how I made this happen!! All I said was, “I met Greg Brown.”
If I am correct, that was four years ago. Since then, I email Greg every time we are in Pittsburgh – it’s not easy, as I am there with my dad and uncle from Illinois, and my brother from Idaho! Yes, Idaho! He travels all that way to see the Pirates! Not only does Greg respond, but he brings us up to the radio and tv booth! He also poses for pictures!
In all sincerity, Greg Brown has become my friend. A few months ago, I texted Greg and told him we were in Pittsburgh again and wished to see him. He replied “call me, I should be available on Saturday night.” So, I called him when we arrived at the park (he said “hi Sam”), and he, along with Steve Blass, made it to our seats and talked to us for about ten minutes. It was amazing; people were walking by and saying “that’s Greg Brown and Steve Blass!” I didn’t think anything of it, because Greg Brown is my friend and he made time to visit us. How many MLB Announcers would take the time that Mr. Brown does and make people from all over the country feel welcome? All I can say is he cares and that is as good as it gets in my book!
Greg is a gem. He is one in a million! I must say, I emailed Mr. Brown and asked if I could write this and he said yes. He told me he was honored. For what’s it worth, he replied in less than an hour. Mr. Brown – you might be honored, but truly I AM HONORED! You are a great person and great for the Pirates. You have had a great impact on my life and I could never thank you enough! Thank you! As Greg would say, “Raise the Jolly Roger!”