Bob Wolff

Robert Alfred Wolff[2] (November 29, 1920 – July 15, 2017) was an American radio and television sportscaster.

He began his professional career in 1939 on CBS in Durham, North Carolina while attending Duke University. He was the radio and TV voice of the Washington Senators from 1947 to 1960, continuing with the team when they relocated and became the Minnesota Twins in 1961. In 1962, he joined NBC-TV.

In his later years, Wolff was seen and heard on News 12 Long Island, on MSG Network programming and doing sports interviews on the Steiner Sports' Memories of the Game show on the YES Network.

Bob Wolff
Bob Wolff
Wolff pictured c. 1941 at Duke University
Born
Robert Alfred Wolff

November 29, 1920
DiedJuly 15, 2017 (aged 96)
South Nyack, New York, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Alma materDuke University
OccupationSportscaster
Years active1939–2017
Spouse(s)Jane Louise Hoy (m. 1945)[1]
ChildrenThree (including Rick Wolff)

Personal life

Wolff was born in New York City; he was the son of Estelle (Cohn), a homemaker, and Richard Wolff, a professional engineer.[3] He was a graduate of Duke University with Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa honors. Although of service age, Wolff did not serve in World War II.

He was a longtime resident of South Nyack, New York. His son Rick Wolff is an author, radio host for WFAN and former baseball player and coach.[4]

National broadcasting work

Bob Wolff was the longest running broadcaster in television and radio history.[3] He and Curt Gowdy are the only two broadcasters to be honored by both the Baseball and Basketball Halls of Fame. Wolff has also been honored with induction into Madison Square Garden's Walk of Fame, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame, Sigma Nu Fraternity Hall of Fame, and many others.

Wolff was a professional broadcaster in nine decades. Seen and heard on two ESPN TV specials in 2008, he had been on the Madison Square Garden Network since 1954 and on Cablevision's News 12 Long Island since 1986.

Wolff became the pioneer TV voice of the Washington Senators in 1947, and moved with the team to Minnesota in 1961. In 1962 he joined NBC as the play-by-play man on the TV Baseball Game-of-the-Week, where he worked until 1965.

Also heard on Mutual's Game-of-the-Day, Wolff was selected to be a World Series broadcaster in 1956 and that year called Don Larsen's perfect game across the country on the Mutual Broadcast System and around the world on the Armed Forces radio. He also was on NBC Radio for the World Series in 1958 and 1961.

Wolff was seen and heard doing play-by-play on all the major TV networks. Another of his classic broadcasts was the NY Giants / Baltimore Colts 1958 NFL Championship Game called, "The Greatest Game Ever Played". On the collegiate scene, he broadcast the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Gator Bowl, and many others. Wolff was the television play-by-play voice of the Detroit Pistons for multiple seasons.

Wolff was also the 33-year play-by-play announcer of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show,[5] and the National Horse Show, the Garden's college and pro basketball and hockey games, men and women's tennis, track and boxing events as well as gymnastics and bowling. He did soccer games for the old Tampa Bay Rowdies.

New York Knicks and New York Rangers

Wolff became known regionally as television's play-by-play voice for eight teams in five different sports – the New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons of the NBA as well as the New York Rangers of the NHL, the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins of MLB, the Baltimore Colts, Washington Redskins, and Cleveland Browns of the NFL, and soccer's Tampa Bay Rowdies of the initial North American Soccer League.

He was one of very few American play-by-play announcers to have covered each of the four major team sports leagues as well as soccer with Dale Arnold being the other, calling Boston Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots, and Revolution.

For many years Wolff was the play-by-play telecaster for all events originating from Madison Square Garden.

His broadcast partner with the Knicks for many years was Cal Ramsey.

Memorable calls

In addition to broadcasting Don Larsen's perfect World Series game and the Colts first overtime championship title win over the New York Giants, Wolff called Jackie Robinson's last major league hit that won Game 6 of the 1956 World Series. He was also the TV voice of the New York Knicks' only two championships, in 1970 and in 1973.

Death

Wolff died on July 15, 2017 at his home in South Nyack, New York at the age of 96.[3]

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ The Chanticleer 1942, Duke University
  3. ^ a b c Richard Goldstein (July 16, 2017). "Bob Wolff, Sports Broadcaster for Nearly 80 Years, Dies at 96". The New York Times. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
  4. ^ "Rick Wolff". CBS New York. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  5. ^ Cavanaugh, Jack (December 29, 1996). "Book Marks a Life in Broadcasting Sports". Retrieved July 18, 2017.

External links

Preceded by
Lindsey Nelson
Lead play-by-play announcer, Major League Baseball on NBC
1962–1964
Succeeded by
Curt Gowdy
Preceded by
First
Stanley Cup Finals American network television play-by-play announcer (with NBC's Win Elliot)
1966
Succeeded by
Stu Nahan
1948 Washington Senators season

The 1948 Washington Senators won 56 games, lost 97, and finished in seventh place in the American League. They were managed by Joe Kuhel and played home games at Griffith Stadium. It was the first Senators season to be broadcast on television with Bob Wolff on the booth for gameday broadcasts on WTTG-TV.

1949 Washington Senators season

The 1949 Washington Senators, the 49th edition of the Major League Baseball franchise, won 50 games, lost 104, and finished in eighth and last place in the American League. It was the worst showing by the Washington club in 40 years, since the 1909 Senators lost 113 games. The team was managed by Joe Kuhel; it played its home games at Griffith Stadium, where it drew 770,745 fans, seventh in the circuit.The Senators actually won 25 of their first 45 games and stood in third place after Sunday, June 5, 1949. But they would win only 25 games more all season, playing at an abysmal .229 rate over their last 109 contests. In today's 162-game schedule, that would have resulted in a 37–125 mark, surpassing the 1962 Mets' record for futility. At year's end, manager Kuhel would be replaced by Bucky Harris, the Senators' 1924 "boy wonder" manager, now 53, returning for a third term as skipper of the Senators.

1950 Washington Senators season

The 1950 Washington Senators won 67 games, lost 87, and finished in fifth place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.

1951 Washington Senators season

The 1951 Washington Senators won 62 games, lost 92, and finished in seventh place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.

1952 Washington Senators season

The 1952 Washington Senators won 78 games, lost 76, and finished in fifth place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.

1956 World Series

The 1956 World Series of Major League Baseball was played between the New York Yankees (representing the American League) and the defending champion Brooklyn Dodgers (representing the National League) during October 1956. The Series was a rematch of the 1955 World Series. It was the last all-New York City Series until 44 years later in 2000; the Dodgers and the New York Giants moved to California after the 1957 season. Additionally, it was the last time a New York team represented the National League until 1969 when the New York Mets defeated the Baltimore Orioles in five games.

The Yankees won the Series in seven games, capturing their seventeenth championship. Brooklyn won Games 1 and 2, but New York pitchers threw five consecutive complete games (Games 3–7) to cap off the comeback. The highlight was Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5. Larsen was named the Series MVP for his achievement. The Dodgers scored 19 runs in the first two games, but only 6 in the remaining five games, with just one in the final three games.

This was the last World Series to date not to have scheduled off days (although Game 2 was postponed a day due to rain).

As of April 2015, three original television broadcasts from this Series (Games 2 partial, Games 3 and 5) had been released on DVD.

1969–70 New York Knicks season

The 1969–70 New York Knicks season was the 24th season of NBA basketball in New York City. The Knicks had a then single-season NBA record 18 straight victories en route to 60–22 record, which was the best regular season record in the team's history. They set the record for the best start for the first 24 games at 23-1 before the Golden State Warriors surpassed it in 2015. After defeating the Bullets in the Eastern Division semifinals and the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Division finals, the Knicks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games to capture their first NBA title.

1970 NBA playoffs

The 1970 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1969–70 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Division champion New York Knicks defeating the Western Division champion Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals. Willis Reed was named NBA Finals MVP.

It was the first NBA title for the Knicks in franchise history, and was their first appearance in the finals since losing their third straight finals in 1953 to the Lakers while they were still in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

For the Lakers, it was their third straight Western Division title and second straight year they lost in Game 7 of the NBA finals. The Lakers dropped their eighth straight NBA finals series (the previous 7 to the Boston Celtics) and were denied their first NBA title since 1954.

It was also the playoff debut of the second-year Milwaukee Bucks, and they managed a first-round defeat of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Boston missed the playoffs for the first time since 1951, despite being the defending champions.

1972–73 New York Knicks season

The 1972–73 New York Knicks season was the 27th season of NBA basketball in New York City. The Knicks capture their second NBA title as they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, four games to one, which was exactly the same count the Knicks lost to the Lakers a year earlier.

List of Minnesota Twins broadcasters

The Minnesota Twins baseball team have had many broadcasters in their history in Minnesota. Here is a list of the people who have been a part of bringing the Twins to the people of Minnesota.

List of NBA Finals broadcasters

The following is a list of the television and radio networks and announcers that have broadcast NBA Finals games over the years.

Major League Baseball on Mutual

Major League Baseball on Mutual was the de facto title of the Mutual Broadcasting System's (MBS) national radio coverage of Major League Baseball games. Mutual's coverage came about during the Golden Age of Radio in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. During this period, television sports broadcasting was in its infancy, and radio was still the main form of broadcasting baseball. For many years, Mutual was the national radio broadcaster for baseball's All-Star Game and World Series.

NBA on television in the 1960s

As one of the major sports leagues in North America, the National Basketball Association has a long history of partnership with television networks in the US. The League signed a contract with DuMont in its 8th season (1953–54), marking the first year the NBA had a national television broadcaster. Similar to NFL, the lack of television stations led to NBC taking over the rights beginning the very next season until April 7, 1962 - NBC's first tenure with the NBA. After the deal expired, Sports Network Incorporated (later known as the Hughes Television Network) signed up for two-year coverage in the 1962–63, 1963–64 season. ABC gained the NBA in 1964, the network aired its first NBA game on January 3, 1965, but lost the broadcast rights to CBS after the 1972–73 season with the initial tenure ending on May 10, 1973.

Rick Wolff (writer)

Rick Wolff is known for his work as a book editor, author, college coach, broadcaster, and former professional baseball player. He is the son of Hall of Fame Sportscaster Bob Wolff.

Robert Wolff

Robert Wolff may refer to:

Bobby Wolff (born 1932), American bridge player

Bob Wolff (1920–2017), American sportscaster

Robert Paul Wolff (born 1933), American political philosopher

Robert Jay Wolff (1905–1978), American abstract artist

Robert Lee Wolff (1915–1980), American historian and book collector

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