Pirates Hire Joe Block For Play-by-Play

The Pittsburgh Pirates  announced on Saturday that they have hired Joe Block as the new play-by-play announcer, replacing Tim Neverett, who left for a job with the Boston Red Sox. Block has been with the Milwaukee Brewers since being hired in December, 2011. Prior to that, he worked briefly with the Montreal Expos, while also spending time with various minor league teams. He had called play-by-play for over 1,400 professional baseball games.

I’ve included a video of him talking about the time he got locked in the tv booth with Bob Uecker. Just so you can get familiar with the face and voice.


Pirates President Frank Coonelly had the following to say about hiring Block:

“Joe’s play-by-play ability, diverse experience, strong work ethic and desire to become a permanent part of the Pirates family and Pittsburgh community, made him our top choice.”

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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I liked Neverette, and I will miss him, but the new guy seems like a good choice.

Joe S

I don’t know, guys, but I thought Neveritte was awful. He finally corrected the right handed batter hitting one that “hooked” one into the right field seats type mistakes. Really! How could a guy get that job not knowing the difference between a hook and a slice? Watching the Pirates on MLB TV in Florida, I would cringe whenever Neveritte was calling the game. I suppose he got more tolerable, but how could that guy get a job with the Red Sox?

Marty W

Neverette had a bad habit of jinxing the team with his pronouncements of certain facts before the games were concluded. For example, with a two run lead in the ninth inning, one out and nobody on for the opposing team, he would say something like “this will be the fourth consecutive home victory for the Pirates”. Very annoying to say the least. (There is no clock in baseball Tim). Count me as one fan who is glad to see him gone. And it wouldn`t bother me if Blass followed him out the door. Nothing you can really pinpoint, but just kind of silly sometimes.


Local boy or ties. Similar to Block.


So glad it’s Joe BLOCK and not Joe BUCK.

Marty W

Why don`t you like Joe Buck?


He’s awful. He makes Joe Morgan look like a solid play-by-play guy. He’s almost as bad at football too. His use of hyperbole and the way he talks in general is just annoying. I’m very much not in the minority in this viewpoint either. He’s widely disliked.


I imagine sharing a booth with Uecker would require a finely honed sense of humor.

Welcome aboard, Blockhead!


David Rosenberg

Sounds like he at least has a personality and a sense of humor, so that will make him an upgrade.


I keep looking for an article named “Meet Joe Block”, haven’t seen it yet.


Guess I’ll have to be content with doc emrick randomly shoehorning pirates references into nhl games a little longer.

Luke S

One report did mention PGH was discussing a limited slate of games with the team, so it’s technically still possible he agrees on a deal for a few games. Likely later in the season after the NHL finishes.

michael t

Seems to be low key with a self depreciating sense of humor. Another low budget reclamation project with upside.

Bill W

Lee Foo wanted me to tell you” deprecating”.


Lee Fu.

michael t

Thanks….missed that one.


I feel like this guy and Wehner could be gold

dr dng

Its nice that we are picking up someone with some knowledge
of the division and the National League. I would think this
would make his transition easier.


I misread Joe Block and Joe Buck and had a momentary sorrowful panic.


So endeth the dream of Jim Ross doing Cutch’s HR calls. OH MA GAAAAWD!!!

Darrell Jones

This is the best post ever

Bill W

Thanks for the video link John.

Bill W

This guy has family in the area. His wife graduated from Wheeling Jesuit I believe. I think that he will fit in perfectly in the booth. I wish him well.

Chuck C

I heard his wife is from Pittsburgh, (South Park.) Anyone know anything about this?


Good sense of humor–I look forward to hearing him call Pirates games. It’s got to be hard leaving Uecker, though.

One thing I think is pretty unique to the Pirates is how they rotate announcers between radio and TV, and also switch up partners. I imagine that keeps things interesting for them but will make it a little more challenging for the “new guy.”


“You know, if the door doesn’t open, the door is pretty useless at that point.”

Joseph Rand

Insightful commentary by the new guy. Should be fun!


So are the Brewers now looking for a play by play announcer? lol.

Chuck C

Are the Brewers getting a draft choice off of us? LOL.


No q/o offered. We’re good.



Seems like a good fit. Only heard a few sound bytes but already like the voice compared to Neverette.

Daryl Restly

Neverette sounded too dry for my liking. He reminded me of former Pirate broadcaster John Saunders. I like a guy who can call a game correctly but also inject some enthusiasm in a game. Lanny Frattare had this quality and so does Greg Brown.


I’m ready for them to put Blass out to pasture. I love him and Dick Groat as people, but as color guys they’ve slipped. Cope at least knew it was time to go.


As long as he pays attention to the pitch count on radio I’ll like him.


Not everyone is as awesome as NMR.


Seems like a really nice guy!

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