Joe Garagiola, Baseball Player Turned Hall of Fame Broadcaster, Dies at 90
Joe Garagiola, who turned a stint as a light-hitting catcher in the late 1940s and mid 50s into a bounteous television career as a baseball announcer and TV host, has died, the Arizona Diamondbacks announced Wednesday. He was 90.
Garagiola called games at NBC for a quarter-century and served as a host on the Today show from 1967-73 and 1991-92. The likable St. Louis native sat in at times for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show and hosted a number of game shows, including Joe Garagiola’s Memory Game, Sale of the Century, To Tell the Truth and Strike It Rich.
His book Baseball Is a Funny Game, a collection of humorous anecdotes told in his neighborly fashion, was first published in 1960 and was perhaps the first New York Times best-seller with baseball as its subject. He said sales took off after he made an appearance on The Jack Paar Show, and the book gave him a huge career boost and put him on the national stage.Garagiola did games for NBC starting in 1961 and worked on New York Yankees telecasts from 1965-68 before returning to the Peacock network. In 1976, he succeeded Curt Gowdy as NBC’s No. 1 play-by-play announcer.
|Yogi Berra with Childhood friend, Joe Garagiola|