Legendary broadcaster Dick Enberg dies at 82

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Lengendary sports broadcaster Dick Enberg died Thursday in La Jolla, Calif. at age 82, according to Bryce Miller of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Enberg was a fixture in sports broadcast from 1957 to 2016 when he retired from his final job as play-by-play voice of the San Diego Padrews. He began his career in 1957 as play-by-play voice of University of Indiana football and men’s basketball and became one of the most recognizable voices in broadcasting.

He lent his voice to events all across the sporting landscape during his career. Enberg called games in the NFL, MLB and NBA as well as college football and basketball games. He also worked multiple Olympic Games, PGA Tour events, the Masters, Wimbledon, the French Open, the Kentucky Derby, the Breeders’ Cup for various networks. Enberg also served as the dedicated play-by-play voice for Indiana (1957-1961), UCLA men’s basketball (1966-1977), the Los Angeles Rams (1966-1977), the California Angels (1969-1978, 1985) and the Padres (2010-2016).

Enberg called NFL games for NBC from 1977-1998, including eight Super Bowls. He won the Pete Rozelle Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999 for his “longtime exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.”

He also called NFL games for CBS and Westwood One radio before heading back to baseball in 2010.

27 responses to “Legendary broadcaster Dick Enberg dies at 82

  1. Sad news about a sports broadcasting legend. Enberg came from an era where the games were the story, unlike many broadcasters today who think they are what the viewers and listeners think is important.
    Who will ever forget Dick’s “oh my!” when he saw a great play? Enberg hosted a show in the 70’s called Sports Challenge where two teams comprised of former teammates who would compete against each other in a sports trivia contest. He would also ask these former stars during the show questions about their great careers or about a particular game and it was a very enjoyable show. The former athletes back then were often very shy and almost always humble. When he’d bring up their remarkable careers and point out great things they’d done, they’d seem almost embarrassed that he was bringing it up. That’s a huge difference between those athletes back then and the athletes of today, too. The guys today spend more time patting themselves on the back than answering questions when they are interviewed. My favorite episodes of that show were when he brought on great boxers of the 30’s and 40’s who fought each other for world championships. He had the greatest pound for pound fighter who ever lived, Sugar Ray Robinson, on with another great middleweight –Carmen Basilio — in one show. Basilio was a tough Italian whose two fights in the 1950’s with Robinson were legendary. Basilio never liked Robinson and he beat him once and then lost to him in the rematch by a decision when his left eye went completely shut from the 6th round on and was extremely swollen. Robinson was past his prime at 36 years old, but he was still a great fighter. Basilio always thought he won that second fight, and you could tell on that Sports Challenge show that all those years later he was still angry about it. He allowed Engberg to get him to admit that Robinson was the greatest fighter he ever saw, but he threw in he could still whip him if they fought right then. Robinson laughed out loud at that.
    Enberg was a great broadcaster and an absolute gentleman. May he rest in peace knowing he had millions of fans who loved his work.

  2. I’ll always think of him as one of the great announcers. He was smart, had a good personality and a sense of humor. Enberg and Merlin Olson were a great NFL broadcasting team.

  3. One of the best! One of my best friends father was the Basketball coach at my high school in the 50’s and 60’s. He passes away 20 or so years ago and my buddy came across a telegram from Dick congratulating him for winning the State tittle in 1957. Dick was working in Mt. Pleasant Michigan at the time. He must have liked us Yoopers because on more than one occasion I heard him say a brief quip in Finnish. We have a lot of Finns up here.
    Anyway, Rest In Peace Dick. The memories of you calling games will be cherished by me forever. SISU!

  4. Such sad news. I was a big fan of his and always enjoyed his work. My sincere condolences to his family.

  5. I was originally Pissed when he was going to call SB XX Bears vs Patriots over Summerrall and Madden but Enberg called a good game. He was great at Tennis

  6. Wow, he worked almost right to the end. One of the signature voices of network sports broadcasting from the mid-70s when he replaced Curt Gowdy at NBC. I always liked his calls. Don’t forget his work with Johnny Miller on NBC golf in the ’90s, which was excellent.RIP, Dick.

  7. I met him once—and not under the best of circumstances—when I was working security at a Rose Bowl in the early 80s. He could have been nasty about the way I followed the directions I had been given, but instead, he said he understood, and thanked me: as much a gentleman outside the booth as he was on-air. RIP, Mr. Enberg.

    (Merlin Olsen was just as polite that day. The President of NBC, on the other hand, told his limo driver to drive through me.)

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