(SAN DIEGO) Died Tuesday at his home in La Jolla, aged 82, of an apparent heart attack, after a truly legendary broadcast career.
I was fortunate, growing up in SoCal, to have the likes of Dick Enberg to listen to broadcasting football for the UCLA Bruins and the Rams, Chick Hearn doing the Lakers, and Vin Scully doing the Dodgers. If that isn't a sportscasting version of Mt. Rushmore, there isn't one. Only Scully, retired just last year, remains among us.
It's probably also why so many lesser lights sound to me like the leftovers and also-rans they are, and why it's so hard to listen to the second- and third-string understudies.
Enberg finished his career doing a decade of Padres baseball, but he also did everything else: Wimbledon, the Rose Bowl, and countless other events for multiple networks. In fact, if you ever saw the only version of Rollerball worth watching, with James Caan, you get no points for guessing who did the play-by-play for all the rollerball games throughout that iconic 1975 flick. Enberg could truly do anything. And, it was noted, the only thing keeping Enberg from being the best sportscaster in Los Angeles in the 1970s was Vin Scully amidst his 67-year run with the Dodgers.
The only good thing about this, if there is anything good in it, is I don't miss the games as much.
And absent the grace imparted by such masterful storytellers, there's little point paying them any mind.