Dick Enberg bid farewell as the voice of the San Diego Padres and Vin Scully was present for the retirement luncheon.
Born Richard Alan Enberg, sports fans know him as Dick Enberg – that familiar voice that has been providing play-by-play for telecasts of San Diego Padres baseball games for the past six years.
At the age of 81, Enberg has done it all and has captured a legion of Padres fans, who will forever remember expressions like “Touch ’em all” that he used during home runs and “Oh, my!” whenever something exciting occurred.
Before joining the Padres, Mr. Enberg had impressive careers as a radio personality and a sportscaster. As he was working on his doctorate degrees in health sciences at Indiana University, Enberg found time to voice his first radio broadcast of the Little 500 and be the play-by-play announcer for Indiana Hoosiers football and basketball games.
He was later hired by KTLA television where he worked as an anchor of nightly sports report. He was also employed by KMPC radio. Enberg was named California Sportscaster of the Year in 1967, 1968, 1970, and 1973.
He went on to do 28 Wimbledons, 15 NCAA men’s basketball championships, and 10 Super Bowls. On Thursday, Enberg said farewell after taking part in the final home broadcast at Petco Park. His last game was on Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona.
At the end of the game, Enberg, who had received a pair of cufflinks made from material from a real baseball used in a Padres game from his wife, Barbara, gave them to Padres manager Andy Green. Enberg said:
“I think it’s symbolic of me stepping out the door and he’s coming through that door and hopefully will be there for a long time.”
“I doubt he’s wearing French Cuffs in the dugout, but maybe it will bring him good luck. When he leads this team to a World Series title, maybe he’ll have to dress up. And maybe he’ll think of me. Selfishly, I’d like that.”
On Thursday, the San Diego Padres had a surprise luncheon in his honor where newly retired play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers Scully prepared a video tribute. Enberg said at the event:
“Now I gotta think of something brilliant to say. No one can be as elegant as Scully.”
Dave Roberts, current manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, praised Enberg by saying:
“You grow up loving sports, and you hear him call so many great events from Wimbledon to the Olympics to Super Bowls and NCAA championships. To fast-forward to now, to consider him a friend and to drink wine with him and break bread, it’s been an honor. The thing with Dick is his love for people and his love to tell a story. To hear him tell stories just gets me giddy.”
Pressed for a favorite moment, Enberg explained:
“The 1968 UCLA-Houston game as the jumping off point for college basketball pandemonium. It was the first nationally televised college basketball game, and the Cougars broke the Bruins 47-game winning streak 71-69 in what many people refer to as the game of the century.”
“I’m sentimental; you all know that.But I’m not sad. I’m looking forward to the excitement of the unknown that’s ahead.”
Most commenters described the two legends as class acts.