View Full Version : Curt Gowdy dies

02-20-2006, 01:03 PM

(CBS4) BOSTON Former Red Sox and NBC television broadcaster Curt Gowdy died at his home in Florida Monday, after a long battle with leukemia. He was 86 years old.

Gowdy's family was with him at the time of his death.

He was the radio voice of the Red Sox from 1951 to 1965. That time included his famous call of Ted Williams' final home run in his final at-bat at the end of the 1960 season.

Gowdy left the Red Sox to join NBC Sports, where he was the network's lead television broadcaster for it's baseball game of the week. From 1966 to 1975, he called the play-by-play for every World Series and All-Star game for NBC.

02-20-2006, 01:40 PM
From 1966 to 1975, he called the play-by-play for every World Series and All-Star game for NBC.Until his shameless homerism forever ingrained itself in Reds fans memories.

02-20-2006, 01:57 PM
Until his shameless homerism forever ingrained itself in Reds fans memories.

I was nine years old when the 1975 World Series was played, so I wasn't too aware of such things. But I remember my Dad commenting about how disappointed Gowdy was that the Reds won, and because he was for the Red Sox.

When you watch Game 7 again these days on ESPN Classic, you realize how Gowdy didn't do a very good job of disguising his lack of enthusiasm for the Reds victory. He was never one of my favorites, but the sound of his voice on a broadcast brings back good memories of my younger days, nevertheless.

02-20-2006, 02:03 PM
He along with Tony Kubek, Joe Garagiola, Al Michaels, Marty Brennamen, Joe Nuxhall, Kieth Jackson, Jack Fleming and Vin Scully are the voices that I can easily hear in my memories of sports. RIP Curt.

02-20-2006, 02:25 PM
RIP Curt Gowdy. I remember him also as part of the Golden age of broadcasters.

02-20-2006, 02:50 PM
Yep. That's a voice I can hear in my head.

02-20-2006, 02:51 PM
RIP. When I first began to really follow major league baseball, Gowdy was the announcer on all of NBC's major league telecasts. When I first began to follow pro football, we could only get the local NBC affiliate, so I became an AFL fan, rooting for the Raiders and Bengals-again, Gowdy was the announcer I heard for all the "big" pro games.
Gowdy was a good announcer, and hearing his voice on any replay of an old telecast brings back fond memories, but he definitely was no Reds fan. I can remember that at the start of every season in the 1970s up through 1975 he was always naming the Dodgers as his favorite to win the NL West over Cincinnati because the Dodgers had superior pitching; LA's pitching was better, but the Reds had the better team and finsihed ahead of LA in 1970, 1972, 1973 and 1975.
As for the 1975 Series, I agree that Gowdy failed to hide that he was rooting for the Red Sox. I can remember a cartoon that appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer after game seven depicting Gowdy's voice trailing off in disappointment as he announced that "Geronimo catches the ball and the Reds are world champions" (or words to that effect).
No matter. RIP.

02-20-2006, 02:54 PM
Yep. That's a voice I can hear in my head.

Same with me. When I think of NBC's Game of the Week, I hear his voice in my head.

Reds Fanatic
02-20-2006, 05:43 PM
I remember his calls from the 75 series on the 1975 Reds highlight album. I believe it was him, Tony Kubek and Marty doing those games on TV in 1975.

02-20-2006, 06:30 PM
I grew up north of Boston listening to Curt Gowdy. He and Ned Martin were the voices I associated with baseball. In 1965 we moved to Cincinnati (for 2 1/2 years before moving back), and I was pleased Gowdy started doing the Game Of the Week and later football games.

Johnny Most, Ned Martin, and Curt Gowdy were big parts of my youth in the pre ESPN days.

02-20-2006, 06:59 PM
Used to park Gowdy's car. Nice guy.

He did a series back in '70s on PBS called "The Way It Was," which did a great job of recounting great pre-1970s sporting events. I think it might get run on ESPN Classic sometimes. Had it gotten a 10- or 20-year run, IMO it would have proven a valuable sports archive and introduced a lot of people my age and younger to events that occured before the televised sports boom.

02-23-2006, 06:58 AM
Gowdy was a great announcer. But like others have said he lost me in the 75 series when he obviously was rooting for the Red Sox. I think you can confirm this by listening to his final out call of that series. He sounded like someone who just saw his best friend pass away.
Like I said he was a great announcer overall. I heard that he is the only announcer in the baseball,basketball and football halls of fame. That is quite an accomplishment.

Sea Ray
02-23-2006, 02:51 PM
Anyone else remember how Tony Kubek could pronounce names like Yastremski and Petrocelli flawlessly but couldn't do the same for (Tony) Perez?

I agree Curt Gowdy is a legend in sports announcing but his biased announcing of that series was very unprofessional.

On another note, it was nice to see that the only remaining legend of that era, Vin Scully just signed a deal to continue Dodger games for another 3 years. Vin's been doing Dodger games since 1950 and would have every right to be a homer yet I never get the impression that he's rooting for the Dodgers. Nor does he whine like Marty does on occasion. He alone is worth the cost of the Extra Innings package.

02-23-2006, 02:56 PM
Some people are claiming Gowdy was taken off baseball broadcasts after the 1975 series because of death threats against umpire Larry Barnett, due to Gowdy's comments that Barnett should have called interference on Ed Armbrister.

02-23-2006, 02:57 PM
I kind of like the biased announcing in the '75 series. Having the Red Sox Nation id on display added to the spectacle.

Plus, we weren't as drunk as Curt Gowdy was during those games.

02-23-2006, 03:02 PM
Some people are claiming Gowdy was taken off baseball broadcasts after the 1975 series because of death threats against umpire Larry Barnett, due to Gowdy's comments that Barnett should have called interference on Ed Armbrister.

Well, the drunk thing didn't help either. I think this has been cut from rebroadcasts of the Series, but I'm pretty sure he called "Touchdown!" when Perez hit the eephus homer in Game 7. Perhaps my memory is off a bit, but I'm almost positive he transposed touchdown for homer at some point in the Series and that it got him into hot water with the network.

Marc D
02-23-2006, 04:57 PM
I always liked his comment on why it was taking so long to finish Riverfront stadium.

KG:"It must be Kentucky's turn to use the cement mixer."

The man definitly had little love for us but as others have said it really doesn't matter now.


02-23-2006, 06:29 PM
Remember the "American Sportsman" with Johnny Bench?

That was great.

02-23-2006, 08:23 PM
Until his shameless homerism forever ingrained itself in Reds fans memories.when you listen to his final out call from the 75 Series I am not sure if he was ready to cry or fall asleep.

02-25-2006, 04:03 PM
February 25, 2006
A final ride past Fenway for Curt Gowdy
By MARK PRATT, Associated Press Writer

BOSTON (AP) -- A banner hanging outside Fenway Park said it all: "Thanks, Curt," as Boston bid farewell Saturday to the man whose voice gave fans a front-row seat at events from the World Series to the Super Bowl.

Curt Gowdy's funeral procession circled the famed ballpark, pausing at the banner before heading to historic Trinity Church in Back Bay.

"He loved the city of Boston, he loved New England and he loved the Boston Red Sox," Curt Gowdy Jr. said at the church. "He's smiling right now and thanking all of you."

Gowdy died at 86 Monday of leukemia at his winter home in Palm Beach, Fla. He had kept a home in the Boston area since 1951, when he began a 15-year run as play-by-play broadcaster for the Red Sox.

A billboard-sized banner showed Gowdy at the mike at Fenway last Aug. 28 for an appreciation that was his last visit to his beloved ballpark. Gowdy knew his health was failing.

"The crowd showed their appreciation but they didn't know they were saying goodbye. He knew it," said Charles Steinberg, the team's executive vice president for public affairs.

It was an emotional moment as the family paused at the banner.

"We were all pretty much in tears," Gowdy Jr. said.

Gowdy was known for his amiable description of big events, including 13 World Series, 16 All-Star baseball games, numerous Rose Bowls and NCAA Final Fours. He covered the first Super Bowl and the 1976 Olympics.

A native of Green River, Wyo., Gowdy did his first radio play-by-play of a six-man football game in 1944 in Cheyenne.

Alan Simpson, the retired senator from Wyoming, met Gowdy when he was 10 years old, in the locker room at the University of Wyoming.

"I want to talk about a wonderful, good guy, who had a lot of fun," Simpson said, referring to his eulogy. "He was my idol."

Simpson was touched to see construction workers pausing from their work and putting hard hats over their hearts as the hearse drove by: "That's true love."

Gowdy spent two years as an announcer for the New York Yankees before moving to Boston. From 1966 through 1975 he was the voice of NBC's baseball "Game of the Week."

Gowdy hosted the "American Sportsman" series on ABC from the early 1960s into the 1980s. Former presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush appeared in fishing segments.

Carla McElroy, a 55-year-old Medford native who now lives in Maine, was in town visiting family but went to Fenway Park to pay her respects.

"He was part of our life. I grew up listening to the Red Sox with my grandfather," she said. "We would listen on the screened porch. We all grew up like that."