Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg dies at 82

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Broadcaster Dick Enberg passed away unexpectedly last night at the age of 82.

Enberg, whose career spanned six decades, was perhaps best known for his time as NBC’s top NFL play-by-play man, alongside Merlin Olsen in the 1970s and 1980s. He was not limited to football, however. Indeed, he was one of the most versatile broadcasters in the history of the medium, handling virtually every sport over his award-winning career. He called 42 NFL seasons, 28 Wimbledon tennis tournaments, 15 NCAA basketball title games, 10 Super Bowls, nine Rose Bowls and the 1982 World Series. He earned 14 Emmy awards and nine Sportscaster of the Year awards. His career culminated when he was given the Ford C. Frick Award by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, speaking on induction weekend in Cooperstown in July of 2015.

While Enberg called so many sports, back when he was selected for the Frick Award in December 2014, he spoke about baseball being his first love, having begun broadcasting games while at Central Michigan University in the 1950s. From there it was on to Indiana and eventually on to teach and coach baseball at San Fernando Valley State College, which is now known as Cal-State Northridge. In the 1960s he began broadcasting in Los Angeles, eventually becoming the play-by-play man for the California Angels.

Enberg left the Angels booth in the 1970s and spent 25 years as a multi-sport specialist for NBC. From there he went on to CBS and then ESPN. In 2009 he came back to baseball on a full time basis, calling games for the San Diego Padres until his retirement after the 2016 season. Recently he had gotten into podcasting. Just last week he publicly congratulated his former colleague, Bob Costas, upon Costas’ selection as a Frick winner, telling him in a tweet, “welcome to the club.”

Enberg’s voice was a warm one. Unlike many play-by-play men, he seemed more interested on you enjoying yourself than in making sure he was describing every minute detail, even though he never left out anything that mattered. He knew you had eyes and were watching it on television, so why clutter up your experiences with unnecessary verbiage? When you heard his voice on a broadcast, you knew it was a big game or else he wouldn’t be the one calling it. Yet when he called a game, you felt at ease, knowing that however good the game turned out to be, the experience would be an enjoyable one.

He’ll be missed.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.