Broadcast Legend Among Newest Binghamton Shrine Inductees
Pete Van Wieren, Tom Tresh and Willard Hershberger are the newest members of the Binghamton Baseball Shrine. All three were inducted in ceremonies before Friday night’s Binghamton Mets versus New Hampshire Fisher Cats game at NYSEG Stadium.
Van Wieren was the “Radio Voice” of the Binghamton Triplets on WNBF Radio in the 1960′s. He went on to take over as the broadcaster for Triple-A Tidewater before joining the Atlanta Braves broadcast team in 1976.
Van Wieren called more than 5,500 big league games over 33 seasons and teamed with broadcast partner Skip Caray for most of them. Many of those games were televised over TBS (Turner Broadcast System) and seen around the nation. He was named the recipient of the Georgia Broadcaster of the Year award ten times from the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. He was also inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame in 2004. Van Wieren was on hand to receive his honor after flying in from Atlanta for the ceremony.
The late Tom Tresh played two seasons for the Binghamton Triplets in both 1959 and 1960. He went on to win the 1962 Rookie of the Year Award in the American League while playing with the New York Yankees. Tresh was named to the American League All-Star team in 1962 and 1963. He was moved from shortstop to centerfield with the return of Tony Kubek from military service and won a Gold Glove Award at that position in 1965.
Also enshrined on Friday night was former Triplets’ catcher Willard Hershberger. Hershberger played three seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. He hit .304 for the Triplets in 1933 when they won the New York-Penn League Championship. Tragically, he committed suicide in August 1940 during the Reds’ pennant run.
The Binghamton Baseball Shrine was established in 1993 and the three newest members bring the total number of inductees to 61. Plaques honoring all members of the Shrine are on display in the concourse behind home plate at NYSEG Stadium.