If you grew up in the 1970’s or 1980’s one name synonymous with Major League Baseball and more specifically Angels baseball was legendary broadcaster Dick Enberg. Enberg passed away Thursday at age of 82 of an apparent heart attack.
When I first started listening to Angels baseball when I was five years old I had the pleasure of hearing Dick Enberg’s golden voice along side Hall of Fame pitcher the late Don Drysdale. Over the years I heard Enberg announce baseball alongside legendary broadcaster Vin Scully for the NBC Baseball game of the week. He announced Rams games and UCLA basketball as well. In addition he was also the voice of Wimbledon for many years and announced numerous NFL games.
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Enberg finished his outstanding career last fall when he retired after seven seasons of being the voice of the San Diego Padres. Enberg’s retirement was largely overshadowed even in Southern California because of the retirement of VIn Scully as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Enberg announce for the California Angels from 1969 through 1978 before moving on to the NBC baseball game of the week. Enberg started announcing with Don Wells and then later Drysdale and Mariners long-time announcer Dave Niehaus. Niehaus passed away in 2010 after announcing for the Mariners first 33 seasons.
What many people don’t know about Enberg is that his career start at the University of Indiana from 1957-1961 announcing basketball and football Enberg then came to California and was an assistant professor at Cal State Northridge where he also served as the Matadors’ baseball coach from 1961-1965. He then moved on and became the play-by-play announcer for the historic UCLA basketball team coached by another legend in John Wooden from 1966-1977. At the same time he announced for the Los Angeles Rams football team and then in 1969 for the California Angels.
Enberg started getting national recognition in 1975 as he started announcing NCAA basketball including March Madness. He announced the famous battle between Magic Johnson’s Michigan State team and Larry Bird’s Indiana State team in the 1979 NCAA Championship game. In 1977 Enberg started doing both NBC’s baseball game of the week as well as the NFL on NBC which he did for 22 years until 1998. He was also a studio host for NBC baseball from1983-1989. Enberg also had a brief reprise with the Angels serving as their play-by-play announcer in the 1985 season.
Enberg continued more national prominence announcing the Rose Bowl on NBC from 1980-1988 and Wimbledon from 1981-1999. He then started doing NBA basketball as well being NBC’s main play-by-play announcer from 1990-1999. Enberg then jumped to CBS in 2000 where he announced NCAA basketball, NFL Football, and the US Open tennis tournament. In total Enberg announced 10 Super Bowls and 14 Final Fours as well in his historic career.
Just when you might have thought his career was over at age 75, Enberg landed in San Diego as the Padres play-by-play announcer for seven more seasons before calling it quits at the end of the 2016 season.
As far as awards and accolades Enberg is one of only two announcers to receive awards from the MLB, NFL, and NBA hall of fames. Enberg announced for 60 years (including his college experience at Indiana). He was loved by many and will be missed by all. Enberg will always have a place in the heart of this Angel fan. Rest In Peace Dick, you are a true Angel legend and say hello to the Cowboy for us.