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Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Garagiola to retire

02/20/2013 12:10 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Joe Garagiola will announce his retirement from broadcasting on Wednesday.(AP)
Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Garagiola will announce his retirement Wednesday, ending a 58-year career behind the microphone that began alongside two of the all-time greats.

According to that FOX Sports Arizona, the Diamondbacks will hold a press conference at 12:30 p.m. local time at their Spring Training facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., where Garagiola will officially announce that he’s hanging up his microphone.

The now-86-year-old Garagiola grew up in St. Louis, just a few houses down from legendary Yankees Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, and like his friend was a Major League catcher, playing nine seasons for four teams from 1946-54 and winning the 1946 World Series with his hometown Cardinals.

His broadcast career began immediately upon retirement, as Garagiola joined KMOX in St. Louis in 1955 to call Cardinals games alongside legends Jack Buck and Harry Caray. He also broadcast Yankees games from 1965-67 and later worked for the California Angels, but is best known for his near 30-year association with NBC. During that time, Garagiola called games for NBC radio and paired with ex-Yankees player and broadcaster Tony Kubek on TV from 1976-82 before joining fellow legend Vin Scully as the “Game of the Week” broadcast team from 1983-88; together, that duo would also call three All-Star Games, three National League Championship Series, and three World Series.

Garagiola also took part in other NBC ventures during his time with the network; he served as a panelist on the Today Show throughout his NBC tenure, hosted several game shows (including Sale of the Century and To Tell The Truth), and was an occasional fill-in for Johnny Carson as host of The Tonight Show.

After leaving NBC and later working for the California Angels, Garagiola ended his career with FOX Sports Arizona and the Diamondbacks, joining the team upon their inception in 1998 and working select games over the last 15 years. For part of that time, he worked alongside his son, Joe Jr., who served as senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager in Arizona before moving on to become the senior vice president of standards and on-field operations for Major League Baseball.

In 1991, Garagiola won the Ford C. Frick Award and entered the broadcast wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and is also a member of the Arizona Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. In his hometown, Garagiola has his own star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame, and is also an inductee in the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame, an honor stemming from his time as the commentator for the St. Louis Wrestling Club’s Wrestling at the Chase program.

Garagiola’s final broadcast came last Sept. 30, as he called a Diamondbacks-Cubs game at Chase Field.

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