Thursday, May 22, 2003
Users: Memories of Curt Gowdy
Along with being a broadcaster for the Yankees and Red Sox, Curt Gowdy was in the booth for nine Super Bowls, 14 Rose Bowls, 24 NCAA Final Fours and eight Olympics. It seems whenever a big event was taking place, Gowdy was at it, describing the action.
ESPN.com users offer their top remembrances of Gowdy:
Curt Gowdy has always been the best. If he was there, importance was added to the event. He's always been so smooth and artistic with his words and had the ability to reel in all the conversation with the color announcer and relate it to the game at hand.
My favorite memory of Curt was in the early 1970s when NBC did some Monday night games and had a ex-player guest in the booth each week -- much like what ESPN is doing now with "legends of broadcasting."
In this particular game at Comisky Park, the recently retired Willie Mays was in the booth and he referred to Curt as "Kirk" all night. Never once did Mays get his name right, yet Curt being gracious as always never once corrected the great Mays and never missed a beat. I watched the entire game with a great friend and great Mays fan and we both got a great kick out of this interplay and to this day we refer to this game, jesting with phrases like "that's right Kirk or great play Kirk" etc.
Anyway, when Curt Gowdy did the middle three innings at Fenway Park Wednesday night, I went back in time 30 years. It was fantastic!
Curt Gowdy announced the 1980 Olympic bobsled competition from Lake Placid, N.Y. In the four-man bobsled competition, Meinhard Nehmer of East Germany, broke the track record on his second and third heats. On Nehmer's fourth and final heat he broke the record once again. Gowdy called it as only Gowdy could, "He did it again."
It's not any one game that I remember Mr. Gowdy. It's his voice that I recall when I think back to all the games I watched when I was young. Curt Gowdy is to old World Series tapes what Russ Hodges is to the Giants' pennant in '51.”
John Maraviglia, Cincinnati
James C. Hayes
Budd Lake, N.J.
Despite growing up in Green Bay Packers country, many of my fondest memories of the NFL include Curt Gowdy and Al DeRogatis broadcasting the battles between Kansas City and Oakland. Gowdy was such a great announcer that I wanted to watch those games though I didn't care about the teams.
It happened during a great TV series, "The Wide World of Sports." Ask Curt about tarpon fishing with Terry Bradshaw. One of the funniest moments I remember in sports.
Aransas Pass, Texas
I grew up in New England and fondly remember listening on the radio, at age 16, of Gowdy's call of Ted Williams' last at-bat home run on that dark September afternoon. "He did it" are the words of Curt that I will always remember.
El Paso, Texas
In 1975 for one of those Network Monday Night games, I grabbed an old bedsheet, and Spraypainted 'Howdy Gowdy' on it. I stood in the center field bleachers under the Liberty Bell at shiny new Veterans Stadium and held it with a friend during the Star-Spangled Banner, Phillies rallies, and the seventh-inning stretch. After the game, we met Curt Gowdy, who mentioned he appreciated the attention. Most fans bring signs for the overpaid stars, we knew who we wanted to honor that night.
I never much cared for Curt Gowdy. It always seemed that he spoke badly of the Raiders and the Yankees. But he had a wonderful voice and his call of Hank Aaron's 715th home run is something a whole generation remembers.
I worked with Curt Gowdy at WRKO in Boston and have some great memories of "The Cowboy." More than anything, I'll never forget how personable Curt was, how he was always just a regular guy. On the professional end, what I remember the most about him was how well prepared he always was. A lot of that preparation was mental.”
Mel Phillips, New York
The voice of Curt Gowdy and the Red Sox is as long lasting -- and as sterling -- as our own Foster Hewitt who did radio broadcasts across Canada for Hockey Night in Canada. Gowdy's voice will always echo the greatest decades of Red Sox baseball. From his memorable calls of Ted Williams' remarkable time period through the l940s, through to the Impossible Dream Red Sox of l966 and then Gowdy's great years doing games on TV.
As a student entering university in the mid-l960s the wonderful commentary of Gowdy as Rico Petrocelli captured that last out facing our boy Jim Longborg will always resonate with a time when baseball and North America were young in heart. Dipped deep in inspiration and young bunch of upstarts wearing Red Sox brought America's game alive. It was also the last year of a Triple Crown winner something Gowdy described that summer from behind his microphone. Little did any of us know that Carl Yastrzemski's Triple Crown would become such a remote statistic as all the cheering finally subsided into the nights of that New England autumn.
Thunder Bay, Ontario
My fondest memory of Curt Gowdy is also my earliest. It was during the 1969 playoffs and World Series. I was so intrigued by my new found love for baseball. As I was watching and listening to the game I would turn the volume down very low and imitate Gowdy's great voice for baseball. At the time, I didn't know he had been a broadcaster for my hometown team (the Red Sox) He will always be my favorite baseball broadcaster. Tony Kubek was his sidekick at the time. The 1969 World Series was the first World Series that I can remember.
Without question, Gowdy's call of the Raiders vs. Dolphins playoff game when Charlie Davis took the ball away from the Miami defense. That was a classic call.