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February 21, 2013

Hall of Fame Broadcaster Hangs it Up

Legendary broadcaster (and former big leaguer) Joe Garagiola took center stage Wednesday and announced that he's retiring from broadcasting.

"I really appreciate everything that has happened to me," Garagiola said at news conference at the Arizona Diamondbacks spring training facility in Scottsdale. "I don't deserve a lot things that happened to me, but I remember Jack Benny said he had arthritis, and he didn't deserve that either."

The 87-year-old made his Major league debut in 1946 with the St. Louis Cardinals.  During his nine seasons in the bigs...the former catcher his .257 with 42 home runs and 255 RBI.  He batted .316 for the Cardinals World Series championship run in 1946.

But is was shortly after his baseball career, that Garagiola's second career, broadcasting, took off.

The season following his retirement, Garagiola began calling Cardinals games.  And in 1961, he begam his nearly three-decade association with NBC.  An association that would include the network's game of the week telecasts, serving as a panelist for the "The Today Show" and, even as a fill-in for Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show".

Garagiola would also have a pretty decent career as a game show host.  Some of the shows he went on to host..."He Said, She Said", "Sale of the Century", "To Tell the Truth" and "Strike It Rich".

In 1991, the longtime broadcaster was honored with the Ford Frick Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame.  In 2008, he was inducted into the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame.  Yup.  That's a thing.  Sure, not as prestigious...but still pretty cool.

Oh, and he's got a beautiful "head of skin".

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