His voice echoes through the years
Catching up with Curt Gowdy
BOSTON -- He is considered one of the greatest sports broadcasters of all-time, if not the greatest.
For 16 seasons, from 1951-1965, Boston fans were lucky enough to have Curt Gowdy serve as the voice of the Red Sox.
"That was great and they were the happiest years of my life," said Gowdy. "I came up to Boston after two years with the Yankees in 1951 and left after the 1965 season. They were wonderful years for me."
After the 1965 season, Gowdy joined NBC-TV on the national scene as the Game of the Week announcer from 1966-1975.
"They (NBC) offered me a great deal to do the Game of the Week in football, basketball, and baseball," said Gowdy. "Ever since I left Boston I have been a Red Sox fan."
Two years after joining NBC, Gowdy called the 1967 World Series, the Impossible Dream season for the Red Sox. That was a huge thrill for Gowdy because during his 16 seasons with Boston, they never made it to the World Series.
"It was a very good World Series and I was sad to see the Red Sox fall," Gowdy said. "I remember Bob Gibson winning three games and winning the seventh game. If I had one game to win in those days I would have pitched Bob Gibson if I could."
Gowdy also called the 1975 World Series, which featured one of the most famous home runs in baseball history -- Carlton Fisk's game-winning blast in Game 6.
"That was a great World Series and I think the best that has ever been played," Gowdy said. "It had thrilling plays and clutch hits. Everything about it was exciting.
"I remember we came here to Boston and it rained for three days and we had to wait three days to resume the Series. The Reds won it and they had a great team. The Red Sox gave them all they wanted, but couldn't quite do it.
These days, Gowdy is retired living with his wife Jerre of 55 years. During the winter, they live in Palm Beach, Fla., and in the summer they return to Boston. They also own a summer home in Sugar Hill, NH.
For fun, Gowdy enjoys to read, watch television, play bridge and spend time with his grandchildren, kids and his wife.
Gowdy still follows the Red Sox and this year he thinks the Red Sox have a good chance to go all the way.
"They have to get (Nomar) Garciaparra and Trot Nixon back in the line-up," said Gowdy. "They are missing two regulars right now, but I think the Red Sox chances are good."
Gowdy's favorite Boston sports memory was calling Ted Williams' last at-bat; he hit a homer at Fenway to close out his Hall of Fame career.
"I was very close to him (Williams) and thought he was great," said Gowdy. "What a way to go out to hit a home run in your last at-bat. It was exciting."
Outside of the Red Sox, Gowdy has called some of the greatest moments in sports history. He called the home run that propelled Hank Aaron past Babe Ruth as the all-time home run king and he called Super Bowl III, where Joe Namath guaranteed a New York Jets victory.
Gowdy also called the 1969 World Series where the Amazing Mets shocked the Baltimore Orioles in five games. In all, Gowdy has called 16 World Series, nine Super Bowls, 14 Rose Bowls, 24 NCAA Final Fours and eight Olympics.
Gowdy has won numerous awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting and the Ford C. Frick Award, which is presented annually to a broadcaster for "major contributions to baseball." Recently, Gowdy was in Boston to received a Lifetime Achievement at the New England Sports Emmys.
"I have been very lucky," said Gowdy. "I got to do the biggest events in sports and I got to do the best.
"The most fun was the American Sportsman show I did for twenty years as the host of it. I grew up in Wyoming and was a fisherman from a little boy on. That was my passion in life and I should have paid them to do the show not them paying me. I got to travel all around the world to the best hunting and fishing places."
If you are interested in hearing where a former New England sports star is these days, please e-mail Jon Goode at firstname.lastname@example.org.