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RIP Joe Garagiola, One Of The Legends Of Sports Broadcasting

Joe Garagiola (left) interviews New York Mets catcher Gary Carter in 1986
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Joe Garagiola’s larger than life personality endeared him to countless fans. The 90 year old legendary broadcaster passed away yesterday.

Garagiola grew up down the street from baseball legend Yogi Berra who passed away at 90 last September.

Garagiola played catcher for 9 years in Major League Baseball, but often referenced playing with Yogi as a kid.

“Not only was I not the best catcher in the major leagues, I wasn’t even the best catcher on my street,” he would say.

ormer MLB player and announcer, Joe Garagiola
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After his playing career, Garagiola’s true talent began to take shape. He spent 30 years with NBC, becoming a fixture on baseball broadcasts and The Today Show. He even guest-hosted Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show

In 1988, he began broadcasting California Angels baseball and eventually the Arizona Diamondbacks, before retiring in 2013.

His family released the following statement shortly after his death:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of this amazing man who was not just beloved by those of us in his family, but to generations of baseball fans who he impacted during his eight decades in the game. Joe loved the game and passed that love onto family, his friends, his teammates, his listeners and everyone he came across as a player and broadcaster. His impact on the game, both on and off the field, will forever be felt.”

Garagiola was a revolutionary broadcaster, bringing humor, wit and storytelling to the booth at a time when others didn’t.

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