At 18 years old, Phil Coyne served as an usher for his Pittsburgh Pirates for the first time. The year was 1936 and Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. America’s involvement in World War II had not yet taken place and the Great Depression was still going strong.
More than 81 years later, Coyne has retired from the only job he’s known. The 99-year-old man announced his retirement on Friday and will be the subject of a special pregame ceremony to celebrate his 100th birthday later in April.
“Having worked his first Pirates game at the age of 18 in 1936, Phil remains number one on our organizational seniority list and will always have a place on our team,” Pirates president Frank Coonelly said, per The Pirates Press. “If Phil has indeed worked his last Pirates game, he has served our fans with incredible grace and distinction and he certainly has earned the right to watch Pirates games with his feet up from the comfort of his easy chair. We very much look forward to April 27, when Phil and nearly 200 of his family and friends will be our guests as we celebrate Phil’s 100th birthday during a special pregame ceremony.”
Coyne’s tenure as an usher in Pittsburgh spanned nine different decades, 14 presidents, about a half dozen wars and three Pirates World Series titles. It truly is something to behold.
We wish the man a long and plentiful retirement. After all, he’s definitely earned it.