Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg passed away Wednesday and he left behind not only a legacy with the San Diego Padres, whom he broadcasted for from 2010-2016, but a legacy with the entire world of sports.
Enberg began his job as a broadcaster in the 1960’s at a small radio station in Michigan, but then went on to serve as the voice of the California Angels and Los Angeles Rams at KTLA in Los Angeles. However, he was known mostly for his announcing of the UCLA Bruins, who dominated the college basketball world with stars such as Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and were coached by John Wooden. It was he who announced the “Game of the Century” in 1968 between the Bruins and the Houston Cougars at the Astrodome, and witnessed the Cougars pull off a stunning upset of the Bruins with a score of 71-69, while also ending the Bruins 47-game winning streak.
Enberg began a career at NBC sports in 1975 and announced for a wide variety of games for the NFL, NBA, MLB, college football and basketball, the U.S. Open Golf Championship, the Wimbledon Tennis championship, and even the Olympic Games. He was the main announcer for the Rose Bowl in Pasadena from 1980-1988 and announced for tennis championships like the French Open.
He moved on to CBS in the year 2000 and served as the play-by-play announcer for the NFL, US Open Tennis championship, and college basketball games. He served this role as well as a role for ESPN as a play-by-play announcer for ESPN2’s coverage of Wimbledon and French Open tennis, and even called the 2005 Australian Open at the age of 63.
Enberg would be hired by the Padres in 2010 to serve as the play-by-play announcer alongside Mark Grant on Channel 4SD. It was during this time that Padres fans first got to hear his famous “Oh My!” and “Touch em All!” calls for spectacular plays and Padres home runs respectively. He would be brought back when the Padres moved their broadcasts to Fox Sports San Diego, and eventually retired in 2016.
Enberg racked up many awards in his career and won an Emmy for his work. He won the Ford C. Frick award in 2015, calling it “the culmination” of his professional career, and was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2011.
His legacy has spanned many sports and he was able to witness multiple events. He has covered 28 Wimbledons, 10 Super Bowls, and 9 Rose Bowls, and is the only broadcaster beside Curt Gowdy to be honored by the baseball, basketball, and football halls of fame. He also has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a letter from former president George H.W. Bush commemorating him for 50 years of broadcasting.
Despite all of the awards and history, those close to him will remember him as a classy individual and a friend to all who knew him. Those who knew him best shared their memories of him and paid their respects to him on Twitter. Ron Fowler has said that, if she wants it, his wife Barbara can have Petco Park for a celebration of life, but will respect her final decision. The MLB and Padres organization released statements regarding his passing, with Commissioner Rob Manfred calling him “a true gentleman, one who just happened to be among the most distinguished sports broadcasters in history.”
Enberg leaves behind his wife Barbara as well as a legacy that touched many in the sporting world.
We at the EVT extend our deepest condolences to his family and hope that he may rest in peace.