Open main menu

Mike Lange (born March 3, 1948, in Sacramento, California) is an American sportscaster, best known as the radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Penguins. In 2001, he received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his outstanding work as an NHL broadcaster.

Mike Lange
Mike Lange 1 2011-12-03.JPG
Mike Lange during a Q&A session with fans at RBC Center in Raleigh, December 2011.
Born (1948-03-03) March 3, 1948 (age 71)
EducationSacramento State University
Occupationsports announcer

CareerEdit

In 1969, while attended Sacramento State University, Lange was encouraged by his friend to attend a hockey game. At the time, Lange had never attended a hockey game before.[1]

From there, Lange worked in the penalty box at local arenas, coordinating the penalty time with the PA announcer. He eventually replaced the PA announcer after he asked for a raise and his play-by-play was broadcast over the college radio station.[1]

Lange joined the Penguins as a radio announcer in 1974 after spending time as a commentator for the San Diego Gulls and Phoenix Roadrunners of the Western Hockey League.[2] He left the Penguins after just one season, because the team was in bankruptcy and he had no guarantee of a job. Lange called Washington Diplomats soccer games, then returned to the Penguins for the 1976–77 season, where he became the central figure of the team's broadcast presence.[1][3]

From 1976 until 2006, Lange served as the lead play-by-play announcer for the Penguins' radio and television network, never missing a broadcast. [4] In 2001, Lange was the recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his outstanding work as an NHL broadcaster.[2] On June 29, 2006, citing a desire to go in a new direction, Fox Sports Pittsburgh (now AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh) did not exercise the option year on Lange's contract. He was replaced by his longtime radio partner, Paul Steigerwald, in a move that was extremely unpopular with fans.[4] On taking Lange's spot Steigerwald said, "I'm not going to try to replace him. I think he's irreplaceable."[5]

On August 4, 2006, Lange signed a contract to work on Penguins' radio broadcasts.[6] On October 8, 2019, prior to a game against the Winnipeg Jets, Lange was presented with an autographed personalized jersey to commemorate his 45th year.[7]

During the mid-1980s, Lange also broadcast several NHL games for ESPN. In 1986 and 1987, he also called Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games on cable television.[1]

Lange and then-colleague Steigerwald appeared together as themselves in the 1995 movie Sudden Death, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. In the film, Lange used many of his trademark expressions in his play-by-play commentary.

ExpressionsEdit

Like fellow Pittsburgh sports announcers, the late Steelers announcer Myron Cope and the late Pirates announcer Bob Prince, Lange uses a repertoire of distinctive colorful expressions, sometimes called "Lange-isms" by his fans. While some are familiar phrases from pop culture, most are cryptic expressions of Lange's making.

KDKA-AM radio talk show host Fred Honsberger used to play a personalized clip of Lange saying, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Honz has just left the building!" at the end of his radio show.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Kasan, Susan (October 7, 2019). ""You never know"". nhl.com. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Kovacevic, Dejan (May 29, 2001). "Lange makes call into Hall of Fame". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  3. ^ "Broadcaster Mike Lange to talk hockey at Penn State Behrend". psu.edu. October 15, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-07. Retrieved 2010-03-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Ladies and gentlemen, Mike Lange has left the building (Hasch, M. & Price, K., posted June 30, 2006 and accessed March 20, 2010)
  5. ^ "FSN Pittsburgh Doesn't Renew Announcer Lange's Contract Archived 2007-02-17 at the Wayback Machine", ThePittsburghChannel.com, posted June 29, 2006, accessed June 29, 2006.
  6. ^ "PENS HIRE MIKE LANGE TO ANNOUNCE RADIO PLAY-BY-PLAY". nhl.com. August 3, 2006. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  7. ^ Mackey, Jason (October 8, 2019). "Penguins honor Mike Lange with pregame ceremony". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 8, 2019.

External linksEdit