December 31, 2015
Dear Members & Friends:
On behalf of the ASA Board of Directors Dick Enberg, Jon Miller, Jim Nantz, Bill Walton, and myself, I would like to wish all our members and friends a very happy, healthy and successful New Year, as we forward this brief synopsis of the highlights of 2015.
As we prepare to enter our 36th year as "The Voice of the Sportscaster,” I’m happy to announce that while most organizations have experienced a decline in membership, the ASA saw an increase in dues paying members in 2015.
I would first like to thank those members who have elevated their membership to Lifetime status: Len Dawson, Steve Holman, Al Hrabosky, Mike Krukow, Jalen Rose, Michele Tafoya, Chris Welsh and Bill Wennington. I also wish to especially thank our Consul, Paul R. Pops, Esq., for his financial help with the payment of rent for our office.
The ASA's “Vets2Broadcasting” program is still assisting our returning veterans find employment in the broadcasting field. We are currently working with Air Force veteran Jake Turner, who was forced to retire earlier this year due to injury. As he makes the transition from military to civilian life, the ASA has offered him career advice, guidance and support while trying to find him employment at various radio and TV stations across the country. Thanks to our efforts, Jake is now honing his craft on the upstart websites Rabble.TV and The Cube. If there are any members that can offer some assistance in placing Jake at a station, please contact us.
Here are some of the ASA members who made news in 2015:
Marv Albert, veteran play-by-play man for the “NBA on TNT,” made his debut as the blow-by-blow announcer for NBC’s prime time series, “Premier Boxing Champions.”
Tim Brando, Fox Sports commentator, ended a 15-year run of his daily morning talk show, "The Tim Brando Show," due in part to his increased workload at Fox as a play-by-play announcer for college football and basketball, the NFL and his most recent assignment, the U.S. Open.
Joe Buck, FOX's No. 1 announcer, added U.S. Open Golf to his already impressive resume which includes five Super Bowls and 16 World Series. His new talk show, “Undeniable with Joe Buck,” also made its debut on the Audience Network.
Andres Cantor, veteran Spanish-language soccer announcer, signed a multi-year contract extension with NBC Deportes assuring him the opportunity to serve as Telemundo’s lead broadcaster for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments.
Bob Costas, renowned NBC sportscaster, was inducted into Syracuse University's WAER Radio Hall of Fame. Costas, who graduated in 1974, was honored at a ceremony at NBC’s headquarters in New York City that included tributes by fellow Syracuse alums and ASA members Marv Albert and Ian Eagle.
Cris Collinsworth received a Sports Emmy Award for his work as an analyst on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” Ernie Johnson, Jr. also won a Sports Emmy in 2015 as host of TNT’s “Inside the NBA “studio show.
Dick Enberg, ASA Chairman and TV voice of the San Diego Padres, was honored with the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award. The sportscasting legend also announced that he will be retiring after the 2016 season. In a career that has spanned over 50 years, Enberg has worked on the national stage for NBC, CBS and ESPN where he has broadcast a plethora of sports and events including the NFL, NCAA Basketball, U.S. Open and Wimbledon Tennis, Masters Golf and the Olympic Games.
Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, longtime Chicago White Sox announcer, will be cutting his schedule for the 2016 season to include only road games and a limited number of home games including Opening Day and the series with the crosstown rival Chicago Cubs.
Tommy Heinsohn, legendary Boston Celtics player, coach and broadcaster, received the Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Heinsohn, along with partner Mike Gorman, are celebrating their 35th season as the primary telecast team for Boston Celtics home games.
Al McCoy, longtime radio voice of the Phoenix Suns, was inducted into the Iowa Hall of Pride. A native Iowan, McCoy started his illustrious career at KJFJ Radio in Webster City, IA. He is currently in his 44th season with the Suns.
Amaury Pi-Gonzalez completed his 38th season broadcasting major league baseball in Spanish. Gonzalez is currently the radio voice of the Oakland A's and TV voice of the LA Angels of Anaheim on Fox Sports LA He also served as an anchor for Telemundo's live coverage of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors victory parade.
Craig Sager, veteran NBA reporter for TNT who has been battling leukemia since April of 2014, made his return to the sidelines for the opening of the 2015-16 NBA season. Sager went back to work in March but was later told that his cancer had returned. The 64-year-old waged another battle and was medically cleared and released from the hospital "for good" on October 7th.
Vin Scully , ASA Hall of Famer and legendary voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, announced that he will be back with the team in 2016 for a record 67th season, but the broadcasting icon said it will likely be his last. In 2000, the ASA named Scully the "Sportscaster of the Century," as voted on by the membership.
Dan Sileo, morning talk show host on San Diego’s “The Mighty 1090"and Padres pre-game host, made Radio Ink Magazine’s list of “Top 30 Local Sports Talkers,” coming in at #24.
Joe Starkey completed his 41st year as the radio voice of California Golden Bears football.
Lesley Visser, a pioneer in women’s sports journalism, was inducted into the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame. Bill Raftery, longtime college basketball analyst who has called over 30 NCAA tournaments, was also part of the induction class.
Bill Walton, Basketball Hall of Famer and ASA Board Member, traveled to China to broadcast a college basketball game for ESPN between the Washington Huskies and Texas Longhorns. He was soon dubbed “The New American Ambassador to China” for his glowing endorsements of the country during the broadcast.
Larry Zimmer, longtime announcer of Colorado University football, returned to the booth for his 42nd and final year after a nearly year-long battle with a series of health issues, including the loss of his voice.
Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to several of our members and friends in 2015 including:
Yogi Berra - Hall of Fame catcher and 10-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees
Frank Gifford - New York Giants Hall of Famer and legendary "Monday Night Football" broadcaster
Milo Hamilton - Hall of Fame Broadcaster for the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros
Lyman Hellums - Ole Miss” football color analyst for 41 years
“Hot Rod” Hundley - Voice of the Utah Jazz for 35 years
Van Miller - Buffalo Bills voice for 37 years
Ed Sabol - NFL Films founder
Flip Saunders - Longtime NBA coach and ESPN analyst
Stuart Scott - Veteran ESPN anchor known for his popular catchphrases
Lon Simmons - Hall of Fame broadcaster for the San Francisco Giants
As we enter the New Year, I wish to thank you for your continued support of the ASA. However, I wish to remind you that as expenses to run the association continue to rise, the revenue coming in covers less. So, for the first time, the ASA is seeking contributions from its members and friends to continue our role as "The Voice of the Sportscaster."
Should you desire to aid us in our fund raising efforts, you can donate a check to the ASA HOF Trust, which is a 501(c)3 tax-free organization.
In any event, I wish you continuous good health, happiness and success in the coming year.
Most sincerely yours,
Louis O. Schwartz
P.S. We apologize for any news from our members we forgot to include in this special memo. Please forward the information and we will note it in a followup newsletter.