By Ryan K Boman, Editor in Chief
Tom Leturgey is so Pittburgh, his blood might as well be black and gold.
The 50-year-old, ring announcer for the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance was born and raised in nearby Cambria County, and says he’s been a Steel City sports fan as long as he can remember.
“My hometown is 100 miles outside of Pittsburgh, and I have been a baseball fan my entire life,” Leturgey told TheGorillaPosition.com in a recent interview. “Even to this day, the Pirates are well above everybody else.”
“I like the Steelers and the Penguins, and I’m glad when they do well. I root for them, but the Pirates are always number one for me.”
Now, he works game-day security for his beloved Bucs at PNC Park. It’s as close to a dream come true for him as his job in wrestling.
“In 2008, I started working in my current position for the Pirates,” Leturgey said, before confessing that he had always dreamed of the team’s play-by-play job. “Originally in college and growing up, I wanted to be the next (legendary Pirates broadcaster) Lanny Frattare.”
Then, as a student, he began writing for the campus newspaper, taking over its entertainment column. He branched off into other opportunites through journalism and broadcasting, before eventually settling into a full-time position with a magistrate’s office.
He applied for a job with the team shortly after his first marriage ended. Leturgey says he was looking for a way to earn some extra money when he learned of the position. It turned out to be a natural fit, and he’s been with team for ten seasons now.
Leturgey and his wife, Marion, met while they were both working for the franchise. So, it only made sense that he popped the question in front of the Bill Mazeroski statue at PNC Park.
The proposal was a home run: They were married in July of 2016.
“When we were looking for venues for our wedding, we decided to get married right there at the statue.” They were married by a friend, and had what Letrugey describes as a ‘mob wedding’. “We got married, and there was nobody else there. Like we had rented the place out.”
That same Pittsburgh passion carries over to his love for professional wrestling, when Letrugey steps between the ropes once a month for the KSWA. It’s where he emerges with a microphone in his hand, as Trapper Tom, the company’s excitable, ring announcer.
“I couldn’t name 30 holds… I couldn’t name 30 maneuvers,” he said. “I’m really just as big a fan as everyone else. What I get out of this, however, is just the way people are entertained by what we provide.”
“When you walk into a room and start talking to people about professional wrestling, there’s going to be someone in any group you can talk to. They might be a closeted fan, but you might be surprised that they’re a fan.”
From 1958-1974, the legendary local show, Studio Wrestling aired on channel 11. Because of that, Leturgey says names like Bruno Sammartino and Dominic DeNucci are just as woven into the fabric of Pittsburgh’s culture as Willie Stargell or Terry Bradshaw.
“Pro wrestling at that time was such a part of the city,” he said. “Even today, for people who aren’t part of that demographic. In some ways, Studio Wrestling still IS professional wrestling to most of the people in Pittsburgh, and it hasn’t even been on the air for years.”
Leturgey started with the KSWA in 2005, three years before he began his job with the Pirates. He says the company carries on that same sports-and-wrestling tradition that has been forged in Title Town USA.
“The people who I work with at KSWA are my family,” he said. “They put in countless hours of work to entertain the audience. We enjoy doing shows and we enjoy knowing that we contribute to the community.”
It’s the same nose-to-the grindstone mentality that permeates the blue collar city. And, for his part, Leturgey says it’s Pittsburgh or bust. He’s enjoying his role as a ‘multi-sport star’ there, and doesn’t have any desire to take his talents outside of Western Pennsylvania.
“I’m too old-looking, I’m too bald, and I’m too fat to be in WWE,” he joked. “I’ve never had that desire to be in WWE. Honestly – If someone called me to fill in at a WWE event, and there happened to be a KSWA event the same day… I’d say have to no. I’d be at the KSWA show; that’s what I’d be committed to.”
“I’ve always treated this like, these people and the KSWA are my family. I love doing what I’m doing. We’re the longest running brand in the city’s history. You never know how long something like that is going to last… But right now, we have a great thing going, and I’m loving everything that we do.”
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