Bucs pay tribute to Tanner before opener

Bucs pay tribute to Tanner before opener

PITTSBURGH -- A moving tribute to honor former manager Chuck Tanner highlighted the Pirates' home opener festivities at PNC Park on Thursday.

Following a video tribute to Tanner, who died on Feb. 11, the Pirates unveiled a decal of Tanner's No. 7 jersey on the center-field wall. The organization also presented members of Tanner's family with a framed Tanner jersey that has sewn on it the No. 7 patch that players and coaches will be wearing all season.

John Candelaria, Phil Garner, Grant Jackson, Bruce Kison, Jim Rooker, Manny Sanguillen, Dave Parker and Kent Tekulve -- all of whom were members of Tanner's 1979 World Championship club -- were all on hand for the pregame ceremony.

Following on-field introductions for both teams, Tanner's son, Bruce, threw the ceremonial first pitch to Sanguillen.

In a separate presentation, the Pirates recognized bench coach Jeff Banister with the organization's annual Pride of the Pirates Award. The award, which was created in 1990, goes to a member of the Pirates family who has demonstrated sportsmanship, dedication and outstanding character during a lifetime of service to the organization.

Banister is now in his 26th season with the organization, though his first on the Major League coaching staff.