LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2017) — He has been the voice of nearly every major sporting event for decades — eight Super Bowls, nine Rose Bowls, the World Series, Wimbledon and French Open tennis tournaments, the Ryder Cup, the Breeders’ Cup, the Masters and U.S. Open golf tournaments, and on and on.
Fourteen national Emmy Awards grace his trophy case. He’s a member of the National Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the National Basketball Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was only the fourth sportscaster to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He is Dick Enberg, and his credentials are the stuff of legends. Enberg, just starting his second year of retirement from 60 years of sports broadcasting, will deliver the annual Gidel-Lombardo Sports Lecture 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, in the UK Athletics Auditorium of the William T. Young Library at the University of Kentucky.
“As a sports fan who has listened to the most respected professionals of sports broadcasting, names like Curt Gowdy, Al Michaels, Keith Jackson, Tom Hammond, Vin Scully and Cawood Ledford, I rank Dick Enberg right up there with the best,” said Mike Farrell, interim director of the School of Journalism and Media. “What a privilege to bring this man to campus and treat our students to the wisdom of such excellence.”
His broadcasting career began in 1955 while he was a student at Central Michigan University. The pay was $1 per hour. He was hired as the first voice of the Indiana Sports Network and was earning a master’s degree and a doctoral degree at Indiana University. He then did play-by-play for the California Angels, the Los Angeles Rams and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins. He was the announcer as John Wooden’s Bruins won eight basketball national championships during the nine years Enberg called the games. In 2017, the media center at UCLA’s home court, Pauley Pavilion, was named in Enberg’s honor.
He concluded his career serving as the voice of the San Diego Padres from 2010 until the 2016 baseball season ended.
The former assistant professor has written two books, “Humorous Quotes for All Occasions” and his autobiography, “Oh My,” his trademark reaction to a great play.
“Like all the best sportscasters and sportswriters, Dick Enberg is a great storyteller. He always told the audience more than what was happening in the sports arena. He made it real, and he made it personal,” Farrell said.
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