Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg dies at 82


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.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.