Big Lead Sports Bar

7/26/2010

Penguins PA Announcer John Barbero Passes



On the heels of the sudden death of Kaye Cowher comes more sad news out of the Steel City: longtime Penguins PA announcer John Barbero, famous for his trademark announcement of "MMMMMario Leeeemieuuuuuux", has passed away at the age of 65.

Barbero, the former principal at Waynesburg HS, had manned the Pens position for 36 years before missing the 2009-10 season due to the presence of Astrocytoma, an inoperable brain tumor. His familiar, friendly voice was immediately missed by the Mellon Arena faithful last season. All of a sudden, Penguin home games did not feel quite the same.

Tom McMillan, vice president of communications for the Penguins, said it best in a 2009 interview for a Trib story on Barbaro. Said McMillan:

"Pittsburgh is a unique place, different than most other cities that have professional sports teams. The fans are the best in the world, no question about that, and they are accustomed to broadcasters and announcers who have become fixtures here. Bob Prince, Myron Cope, Mike Lange and (longtime Pittsburgh Pirates public address announcer) Art McKenna are in that category. So is John Barbero."



My most sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the Barbero family. 
May John rest in peace.

10 comments:

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

This man was as much a part of the experience as any player who ever wore the sweater of the flightless waterfowl.

Adam said...

Building never had the same energy without him...

okel dokel said...

One of the greatest. As noted, the Mario Lemieux announcement was golden.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

The Lemieux call will live forever. Even though 66's been retired for a while and Barbero is gone now, that announcement will echo forever in the minds of true Pittsburgh sports fans.

Like Adam said, he really brought it up in old Barn. Sad news.

Steve said...

One would probably think that you wouldn't really notice if they changed the announcer at a hockey game and at most venues you might not, but when they did the banner raising ceremony to start this season, Barbero's absence was clearly noticed. No offense to Ryan Mill, but just like Mike Lange, John Barbero was as big a part of the Penguins history as Myron Cope was to the Stillers or Bob "Green Weenie" Prince was to the Pirates and will never be replaced.

Papa Eo said...

I think the new guy who has done the PA announcing the past couple years is pretty good, but for any Pens fan who grew up in the 1990s, John Barbero was not only a huge part of Penguins games, but his calls, along with those of Mike Lang, were a huge part of your CHILDHOOD. This guy was the greatest.

SantoGold said...

His voice seemed so perfect for a PA announcer, like he was born for that job. I've been to a few other arenas and one of the first things that stood out to me was that the PA announcer sounded lame compared to what we had back at the Mellon Arena. Tough to replace someone like John Barbero.

With all that said though, and I know I'm probably in a minority of one who feels this way, but I did not like his "Mario Lemiuuuuuuuuuuuex" goal call. Just sounded too obvious to me.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

SantoGold also hates puppies. (I kid, I kid)


RIP John, goals won't be quite as awesome without you announcing them.

SantoGold said...

I had some words for Jack Tatum on his passing as well. I don't think I'll be writing obituaries for newspapers anytime soon.

Dominic Errico said...
This comment has been removed by the author.