Long-Time Pirates Usher Phil Coyne, Who Worked Over 6,000 Games, Passes Away At Age 102

He was well-known in the stands at Pittsburgh Pirates games. Phil Coyne is now being remembered as a long-time usher for the team, a huge fan and a beloved member of the community; KDKA's Andy Sheehan reports.

Video Transcript

KRISTINE SORENSEN: Legendary Pirates usher Phil Coyne, who worked some 6,000 games over 82 years, has died at the age of 102. He was beloved by legions of Pirates fans and his ushers uniform is in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Andy Sheehan spoke with his family today and joins us at PNC Park. Andy.

ANDY SHEEHAN: Kristine, Phil Coyne was beloved by every Pirate fan who would stop by his section here at PNC Park for an autograph or a picture of him, and his family is feeling his loss today.

DAN COYNE: It's hard to think of sort of life without Philly. He's been in everybody's lives for so long and anyone who was ever around him knew he was just such a warm, friendly, caring, person.

ANDY SHEEHAN: He never married, never had kids, but his friends and admirers were in the hundreds of thousands. Every time his nephew, Dan Coyne, would go to a Pirate game, he'd hang out with his uncle Philly, who at times, was as much of an attraction as the players on the field.

DAN COYNE: And the whole time you were with them, there'd be people coming up to him, shaking his hand, hugging him, taking pictures, asking for an autograph. And Philly loved it all.

ANDY SHEEHAN: Starting as an usher in 1936 at the age of 18, Phil Coyne loved every game. He worked at Forbes Field then, until World War II took him to Italy, France, and Germany under General George Patton, before returning home to the town he loved. As a kid in Oakland, he was in the stands when Babe Ruth hit his three home runs in his final game at Forbes Field. In 1960, he was an usher when Mazeroski hit the home run to beat the Yankees in the seventh game of the World Series. After that, he worked at Three Rivers, PNC Park, and Heinz Field.

DAN COYNE: He also worked Steeler games. And he worked Pitt football games. I can remember seeing him at a Pink Floyd concert. He would do concerts.

ANDY SHEEHAN: During the day, he worked at Westinghouse Air Brake, a job he held for 30 years, but his passion was at the ballyard. In all, he would work some 6,000 games over 82 years before his retirement, just shy of his 100th birthday. He was honored by the Pirates then and his usher's uniform is enshrined at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. But to the many members of the extended Coyne family, he was Uncle Philly, always in the center of all that love.

DAN COYNE: He did it all and he just loved being around people.

ANDY SHEEHAN: And such an amazing outpouring of love today on social media from Pittsburghers and former Pittsburghers sharing their remembrances of this amazing person and his amazing life. More on that life coming up at 6 o'clock. For now, live at PNC Park, Andy Sheehan, KDKA News.