Enberg on board as Padres TV voice
Legendary broadcaster will call about 120 games in 2010
SAN DIEGO -- It was four months ago, over breakfast at Harry's Coffee Shop in La Jolla, when Padres team president Tom Garfinkel took a leap of faith.
Garfinkel asked his breakfast partner, broadcast legend Dick Enberg, if he would want to call baseball games again, specifically Padres games.
"Your broadcasters are in some way your most important brand ambassadors," Garfinkel said. "There are so many great stories about this team, this organization and the players, I don't know if there's a better storyteller alive.
"It was too compelling not to ask."
After working out details with Enberg's other employers, ESPN and CBS, the two sides agreed to a multi-year deal for the 74-year-old Enberg.
The announcement was made on Thursday at PETCO Park.
Enberg, who for the last 26 years has made his home just north of San Diego in La Jolla, will bring his trademark "Oh my" call to the Padres and will be back inside a broadcast booth calling baseball full-time for the first time since the 1970s, when he called Angels games.
"I still think I have my fastball. I might not locate it as well as I used to," Enberg said, laughing. "I think the experiences I've had as a broadcaster will more than compensate for that. While there's been a lot of change ... 6-4-3 [double play] hasn't. And I still remember that."
Enberg will call between 110-120 games next season as part of the Padres television team. He will be the lead broadcaster.
The rest of the Chan. 4 television crew, Mark Grant, Mark Neely and Tony Gwynn, will also return. Neely will fill in for Enberg during the two weeks he broadcasts Wimbledon for ESPN. Enberg also hopes to be able to call the U.S. Open.
Enberg, who turns 75 on Jan. 9, has spent the past 10 years as a play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports. This past Sunday, he broadcasted the San Diego Chargers game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Prior to going to CBS, Enberg spent 25 years with NBC Sports, beginning in 1975 as the play-by play announcer for college basketball. But that's only part of his extensive resume.
Enberg has also called coverage of 42 NFL seasons, 10 Super Bowls, nine Rose Bowls, six Orange Bowls, four Olympic Games, six Australian Opens, 23 French Opens, 26 Wimbledons, 10 U.S. Open tennis championships, three Ryder Cups, three Major League Baseball playoffs, the World Series, three heavyweight boxing championships, 14 NCAA men's basketball championships, the NBA playoffs and the NBA All-Star Game and many other events.
He was the play-by-play voice of the California Angels from 1969-78 and worked one season again with the Angels in 1985.
"We couldn't be happier about having Dick on board. We're thrilled to be able to bring him here as a native San Diegan. We didn't think there was a better fit," Padres CEO Jeff Moorad said.
In his career, Enberg has earned a series of national honors, including 14 Emmy Awards as well as nine Sportscaster of the Year Awards.
"Throughout his storied broadcasting career, including the past 10 years with CBS Sports, Dick Enberg has been the ultimate gentleman and consummate professional. He remains a true legend in every sense of the word," Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports said in a statement.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.