Long-time Penguins and Pirates organist Vince Lascheid passed away Friday morning. He was 85.
The classy Mr. Lascheid entertained fans at Penguins games from 1970-2003 and was part of the fabric of Pittsburgh’s unique sports culture. He was inducted into the Penguins Hall of Fame in 2003.
“The Penguins organization is saddened to hear of the news of Vince’s passing,” said team president David Morehouse. “Vince provided the soundtrack to Penguins hockey for more than 30 years, and his enthusiasm, dedication and unique style made him a huge part of Pittsburgh’s sports history and tradition.”
Long-time fans will remember Lascheid coming up with clever tunes to support Penguins’ players and to get under the skin of opponents. He started the “Let’s Go Pron-o-vost” chants for right winger Jean Pronovost in the 1970s; played the University of Wisconsin fight song to salute head coach “Badger Bob” Johnson; would belt out “The Night Chicago Died” or “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” for victories over the Chicago Blackhawks or the old Atlanta Flames; and serenaded the three officials with “Three Blind Mice” until the NHL told him to stop!
Other Vince staples – he would pound out “Hallelujah” when the referee finally called a penalty on an opposing player, and then unfurl a rendition of “Let There Be Peace On Earth” during a bench-clearing brawl.
“He probably is the only organist in the history of professional sports to be inducted into a team Hall of Fame,” said Tom McMillan, the Penguins’ vice president of communications. “But that just tells you the kind of impact that Vince had on Penguins hockey and Pittsburgh sports. All of us of a certain age remember trying to guess what Vince would play for certain players or certain situations. He was a Pittsburgh original, and he will be missed.”
Visitation for Mr. Lascheid will be held from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Laughlin Memorial Chapel, 222 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon.
His family requests donations to the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, 300 East Swissvale Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15218.
The Penguins will hold a moment of silence in Vince Lascheid’s memory before tonight’s home game against the Los Angeles Kings.