Oh My, I’ve got a dirty little secret
Yup, in the early 1970’s Dick Enberg was my favorite announcer. Sure I loved Vin Scully but truth be told I preferred the styling of Dick Enberg. Dick was a tad more energetic about the sports he broadcast and it didn’t hurt that he was doing the Rams and Bruins, besides the Angels.
Enberg was named California Sportscaster of the Year four times during this period (1967, 1968, 1970, 1973).
Enberg has accomplished so much in his long and productive career, but is playing second fiddle to another legendary announcer’s farewell tour this season. With no disrespect directed towards Vin Scully, Enberg is receiving little publicity in his final year behind the microphone compared to the Dodgers’ legendary commentator. Both are icons in their field. Both have been involved with historic moments in sports, including outside of baseball. Both deserve their place as a part of baseball’s history and culture. Dick Enberg has left a lasting impact on broadcasting and baseball.
Not only is Dick Enberg playing second fiddle to Vin Scully in his retirement year, he also played second fiddle to the iconic broadcaster when he worked in Los Angeles. In fact, y0u could say he always played second fiddle to Scully. When Dick worked for NBC sports he was promised the lead play by play for the NBC GOTW, but NBC ended up hiring Vin Scully to be the lead play by play and reneged on the promise to Enberg.
According to his autobiography, Oh My!, Enberg was informed by NBC that he would become the lead play-by-play voice of Major League Baseball Game of the Week beginning with the 1982 World Series (for which he served as pregame host and shared play-by-play duties with Joe Garagiola alongside analyst Tony Kubek) and through subsequent regular seasons. He wrote that on his football trips, he would read every Sporting News to make sure he was current with all the baseball news and notes. Then he met with NBC executives in September 1982, and they informed him that Vin Scully was in negotiations to be their lead baseball play-by-play man (teaming with Garagiola while Kubek would team with Bob Costas) and would begin with the network in the spring of 1983.
Anyway, it is a darn shame to me that Dick and Vin decided to retire the same year. I would have liked to have seen Dick get a little more credit for what he brought to the broadcasting world, which was a lot more than Oh My. Dick made my Rams come to life for me and thank god he was broadcasting when Frank Tanana was the man on the mound for the Angels. Dick and Olsen were my favorite duo doing NFL football.
I only wish he had come back to the Angels instead of heading for San Diego, but I’m glad the Padres gave the old announcer one more chance to call baseball.
Thanks Dick, enjoy your retirement, and while you may have played second fiddle to Vin Scully for most of your career, you were number one in my heart when I was but a lad.