MINNEAPOLIS -- Bob Casey, the only public-address announcer in the history of the Minnesota Twins, died early yesterday, his family said. He was 79.
Mr. Casey died at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, according to his son, Mike. He had liver cancer and pneumonia.
Mr. Casey worked 44 seasons and more than 3,000 games for the Twins.
The team has dedicated the 2005 season to Mr. Casey, according to a statement on its website.
''His voice was a trademark of the Minnesota ballpark experience for multiple generations of Upper Midwest baseball fans," the statement read. ''Bob's unique flare, style, and signature player introductions made him a favorite of fans, players, umpires, the media, and staff. His passion for the game, character, and dedication to the Minnesota Twins franchise made him an icon."
Mr. Casey started announcing Twins games when the franchise moved to Minnesota from Washington in 1961. He was inducted into the Twins's Hall of Fame in 2003.
Mr. Casey, who missed only a handful of Twins games during his time with the team, was known for his nasally voice and distinctive delivery. He would introduce star Kirby Puckett as ''Kir-BEEEEEEEEE PUCK-it!" and remind fans there was ''Nooooooooooooo smoking" at the Metrodome.
He also developed a friendship over the years with New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, who spoke with Mr. Casey on the phone Saturday.
''It was real emotional," Rodriguez said. ''His voice will live on forever. He's pretty special."
Before the Twins moved to Minnesota, Mr. Casey worked as the announcer for the Minneapolis Millers, a Triple-A team in the old American Association, for 10 years.
He also worked for the Minneapolis Lakers and the Minnesota Vikings during his career.
He leaves his wife, Rosemary; and three sons, Mike, Tom, and Joe.