Joe Garagiola, Baseball Player Turned Broadcaster, Dies at 90
Longtime baseball broadcaster and “Today” show co-host Joe Garagiola died Wednesday following a long illness. He was 90.
Garagiola was a boyhood friend of Hall of Fame baseball player Yogi Berra in St. Louis, growing up in an Italian-American neighborhood known as The Hill. He began his major-league career as a catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1946, winning a World Series in his rookie year and playing nine seasons and 676 games.
Garagiola became far better known for his upbeat personality, humor and wit, often making light of his lack of hitting prowess. He said of Berra, “Not only was I not the best catcher in the Major Leagues, I wasn’t even the best catcher on my street!”
His broadcasting career lasted far longer than his playing career. He became a broadcaster in the first season after he retired as a player, calling Cardinals radio broadcasts on KMOX from 1955 to 1962.
Garagiola authored a 1960 book “Baseball Is a Funny Game” about his upbringing and playing career, which helped establish him as a humorist.
He won the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford Frick Award for Broadcasting in 1991 and was the 2014 recipient of the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, presented for positive contributions to Major League Baseball. (Read More)