Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Dick Enberg died in his La Jolla, California home December 21 at the age of 82 – only a few short weeks from his 83rd birthday. While no official cause of death was given, family members believe that Enberg had a heart attack.
By Unknown – Desert Sun, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57644021
While Enberg broadcast a number of sporting events throughout his career, his true love was baseball. Enberg himself once noted, “it has been in my DNA since I was in diapers.”
Along with being inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York; Enberg has earned the highest award any broadcaster can get – the Ford C. Frick Award. He is the only person to have been awarded the Emmy Award as a sports broadcaster, writer and producer. In total, Enberg won 14 Emmy Awards and was named Sportscaster of the Year nine times. Enberg has also been honoured by the NFL and NBA for his broadcasting.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke on Enberg saying, “Dick Enberg was first and foremost a true gentleman, one who just happened to be among the most distinguished sports broadcasters in history. He was well-known for bringing many different sports into the homes of fans, but he had a special bond with the national pastime.”
For “Star Trek” fans the expression “Oh my” belongs to none other than Mr. Sulu himself George Takei; but when it comes to sport, and especially baseball, the phrase belongs to Dick Enberg. He used the phrase as the title to his autobiography and as the opening remarks for his Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
Over the course of his long career Enberg has called games for the California Angeles (now the Los Angeles Angels), the San Diego Padres, NCAA college basketball championships, 42 seasons of the NFL, Wimbledon matches, 10 Super Bowls, nine Rose Bowls, horse races, tennis and golf matches, the Olympics, and the 1982 World Series. One of the rarest events in baseball is the no hitter; Enberg called nine of them over the course of his career.
Along with his numerous appearances as a sportscaster, Dick Enberg has a number of acting credits for his appearances – many of them as an announcer – in the “Mod Squad”, “CSI: NY”, “The Felony Squad”, “Where’s Huddles?”, “Emergency”, “Kolchak: The Night Stalker”, “Gus”, “Murder at the World Series”, “Heaven Can Wait”, “The Longshot”, “Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!”, “Built to Last”, “Hooves of Fire”, “The King of Queens”, “Robbie the Reindeer in Legend of the Lost Tribe”, “Mr. 3000”, and “Pitch”. He has also appeared on talk shows, game shows, documentaries, and the Rose Bowl Parade.
He has worked with Don Drysdale, Al McGuire, Billy Packer, and Mark Grant.
After retiring from broadcasting, Enberg wrote another book, and recorded a number of podcasts.
He was born Richard Alan Enberg on January 9, 1935 in Mount Clemons, Michigan. Prior to becoming a sportscaster, Enberg was a teacher and baseball coach at San Fernnando Valley State College in California.
He is survived by his wife of over 30 years Barbara and children.