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Legendary broadcaster Bob Wolff dies at 96

Official News · 

One of the most revered sportscasters died Saturday with Bob Wolff passing at the age of 96.

Wolff’s son, Rick, confirmed his father’s death to the New York Times. Wolff died at his home in South Nyack, N.Y.

Wolff was behind the microphone for some of the most memorable games in sports, including Don Larsen’s perfect game for the Yankees in the 1956 World Series and the famed 1958 NFL championship game between the Giants and Colts, which is regarded as “The Greatest Game Ever Played.”

Wolff also called the Knicks’ two NBA championships in 1970 and 1973.

Born in New York City in 1920, Wolff began his broadcasting career in 1939 after graduating from Duke. He worked for the local CBS radio affiliate in Durham, N.C., and eventually became the voice of the Washington Senators in 1947.

Wolff remained the play-by-play announcer for the Senators until 1960 when the franchise moved to Minnesota to become the Twins.

The Senators were just the first team for which Wolff was the proverbial voice. He was also the primary broadcaster for the Knicks and Pistons in the NBA, the NHL’s Rangers, and the Colts — in Baltimore — as well as the Redskins and Browns of the NFL.

He eventually moved back to his native New York and was essentially the voice of Madison Square Garden for more than 50 years, calling not just Knicks and Rangers games but also the Westminster Dog Show and just about any other sporting event that took place at the world’s most famous arena.

Wolff and Curt Gowdy are the only broadcasters to be honored by both the baseball and basketball halls of fame. With a career that spanned nearly 80 years, Wolff had been the longest-running broadcaster in radio and television history.

After gaining fame as a regional and team broadcaster, Wolff landed national gigs and teamed with Joe Garagiola to call NBC’s baseball game of the week in the 1960s.

Always priding himself on being prepared and knowledgeable of the teams he was watching, Wolff also loved to play the ukulele. He played “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” on his favorite instrument following his enshrinement into the broadcasting wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995. He was honored by the Basketball Hall with the Curt Gowdy Award in 2008.