Anyone that has paid attention to sports in the last 60 years has undoubtedly experienced the sight and sound of broadcasting icon Dick Enberg, who has covered just about every sporting event in existence. Sadly, he and his voice, instantly recognizable for the catchphrases "Oh, my!" and "Touch 'em all,"are no longer with us, as Enberg passed away on Thursday morning. He was 82 years old.
The shocking news of Dick Enberg's death was confirmed by his wife Barbara Enberg. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the family became concerned whenever Enberg wasn't on a flight that arrived in Boston, where Barbara was set to meet up with him. The cause of death has not been confirmed, but a heart attack is suspected, as Enberg was found in his La Jolla, California home with his travel bags packed and ready by the door. He was apparently waiting for a car to shuttle him to the airport when tragedy struck.
Dick Enberg's death might not be so shocking if he'd been living the normal life of a retiree, but the man was still keeping busy within the sports world after all these years as the host of the podcast Sounds of Success. Just this week, he'd expressed interest in bringing former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and NBA great Magic Johnson to the show, among others. And he was actually promoting the podcast on Twitter in the time just prior to his death.
Born in Mount Clemens, Michigan on February 28, 1935, Richard Alan Enberg sewed the seeds of his career during his college years, where he played baseball for Central Michigan University and worked at the Saginaw, Michigan radio station WSAM. Later in Indiana, where Enberg attended graduate school at graduate school for health sciences, he became the Indiana Hoosiers' football and basketball play-by-play announcer, and commentated his first NCAA tournament in 1961. After doing some teaching and coaching in the early 1960s, Enberg moved to Los Angeles, where his fame skyrocketed.
Sticking mostly to radio broadcasting in those early L.A. years, Enberg called one of the most famous basketball games in history: the 1979 NCAA Championship contest between Magic Johnson's Michigan State and Larry Bird's Indiana State. His TV work at this time showed off his hosting skills on game shows such as the appropriately themed Sports Challenge and the short-lived series Baffle and Three for the Money.
That all changed when Dick Enberg was hired on by NBC Sports, and from 1975-2000, he was a trusted voice (and face) when it came to NFL games, NBA games, MLB games, NCAA games (in multiple sports), U.S. Open events, Wimbledon matches, heavyweight boxing matches, and many more high-profile competitions. Being part of the NBC family, Enberg was also a big name when it came to Olympics coverage.
In the post-2000 years, Dick Enberg's career took him to CBS and, later, ESPN, and his legacy as one of sports' most trusted announcers remained strong, as he continued working many major championships in the golf and tennis worlds, as well as in college basketball. In 2009, Enberg made his last major career move by taking on TV play-by-play for San Diego Padres games, a job he kept for 7 years before his retirement in 2016. Thankfully, the world got to witness a truly momentous meeting just prior to his last game, when Enberg shared the announcer's booth with fellow broadcasting legend Vin Scully, who spent a whopping 67 years calling Los Angeles Dodgers games.
Even in a world where sports-talk became as over-saturated as any other form of entertainment, Dick Enberg stood out as a one of a kind talent, and he can never be replaced. CinemaBlend sends our thoughts and condolences to Enberg's family and friends in their time of mourning.