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Pirates 99-year-old usher retires after 81 seasons

PITTSBURGH — The oldest usher in the major leagues is calling it a career after 81 years on the job.

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced Friday that 99-year-old Phil Coyne, who has been working home games for the organization since 1936, will not return this season. He turns 100 later this month.

Coyne worked thousands of games for the Pirates through the decades, following along as the franchise moved from Forbes Field to Three Rivers Stadium to PNC Park. Coyne worked in sections 26 and 27 down the third base line at PNC Park. The team gave him a No. 99 jersey with his name on the back last summer and the Pittsburgh City Council designated Aug. 29, 2017, as “Phil Coyne Day.”

Pirates President Frank Coonelly thanked Coyne for serving fans with “with incredible grace and distinction” through the years. Coyne’s only sabbatical came when he served in the armed forces in World War II.

The team plans to throw a party for Coyne and his family and friends on April 27 to celebrate Coyne’s 100th birthday.