The Voice of the Brooklyn Cyclones (short season A; NY-Penn League) and the man descriibing the action on This Week In Baseball, Warner Fusselle, has passed away. He was 68.
Fusselle passed away on Sunday evening from an apparent heart attack, just a week before what would have been his 12th Opening Day as the radio play-by-play voice of the Cyclones, and his 35th Opening Day in baseball.
Fusselle was the only voice of the Cyclones since the franchise’s inception in 2001. With a southern style that brought to mind other legendary broadcasters in the Big Apple -- Red Barber, Ernie Harwell and Mel Allen -- Fusselle's iconic voice became a fixture in the homes of fans throughout the Big Apple.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of Warner’s passing,” said Cyclones General Manager Steve Cohen. “There is no one who knew more – or cared more – about baseball in Brooklyn than Warner. His distinctive voice, knowledge and endless passion for the game enriched Brooklyn Cyclones baseball for our players, staff, and fans from day one and his presence will be sorely missed.”
He missed only a handful of games during his 11 years of calling games from the “Catbird Seat,” a phrase that Warner borrowed from his beloved Red Barber. In recent weeks, he also called televised St. John’s baseball games, which aired on CBS Sports Network, as the Red Storm marched toward the NCAA Tournament.
Born on April 7, 1944, in Louisville, Kentucky, and raised in Gainsville, Georgia, Fusselle served in Korea during the Vietnam War. He was also the Voice Seton Hall Pirates basketball during his career in New York. A minor-league baseball advocate, he also called games for the Richmond Braves (Class AAA; International League) and Spartanburg Phillies (Low Class A; Sally League). In addition, Warner broadcast games for the ABA's Virgina Squires, calling the action for Hall of Famers Julies "Dr. J" Erving and George Gervin.
He was a graduate of Wake Forest University.
The “Fuse,” as he was nicknamed, was an avid collector of baseball and rock and roll memorabilia.
He is survived by one sister, Alicia Ruth Fusselle, and two nephews he considered his own, Max Thomas Hyde, Jr. (Eliza Howell) and Warner Fusselle Hyde (Raiford Hudson). He joyfully referred to their off-spring as "the chickadees."
Funeral services have yet to be announced.
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