Hall of Fame Sportscaster Bob Wolff Dies at 96

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2017

FILE - In this Friday, April 26, 2013 file photo, former Washington Senators broadcaster Bob Wolff waves to the crowd during a pre-game ceremony to honor him, before a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park in Washington.  Bob Wolff, the only sportscaster to call play-by-play of championships in all four major North American professional team sports, has died, Saturday, July 15, 2017. He was 96. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Hall of Fame sportscaster Bob Wolff, considered one of the most iconic and decorated play-by-play men in history, died Saturday at his home in New York.

He was 96.

Rick Wolff, Bob's son, confirmed the sportscaster died "peacefully" to CBS News. Wolff is the only broadcaster in history to do play-by-play for the World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Final and NFL championship game (now Super Bowl).

"Bob Wolff's iconic, Hall-of-Fame broadcasting career was matched by his class and character," the New York Yankees said in a statement. "Beyond his lifetime of professional accomplishments, he was a man of great grace and dignity, serving his country with honor, and proudly calling New York home. Bob was a dear friend of the Yankees organization and he will be deeply missed."

Wolff spent 78 consecutive years as a broadcaster (a Guinness record), calling some of the most iconic events in the history of the United States' four major professional sports leagues. He was the play-by-play man for Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, called the Baltimore Colts' NFL championship win over the New York Giants in 1958 and called finals appearances for the New York Rangers and New York Knicks (including two Knicks titles).

In addition to his work in professional sports, Wolff also served as the play-by-play announcer for the Westminster Dog Show, called multiple college bowl games and the National Horse Show.

“I wasn’t too big on telling people, ‘This guy’s now hitting .202,’" Wolff said of his broadcasting style in 2013, per Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. “I’d look for human-interest stories all the time to keep people listening to the game. I’d just say, ‘Well, folks, it’s 17-3,’ and they knew which team was losing.”

Wolff and Curt Gowdy are the only two broadcasters enshrined in the Baseball and Basketball Halls of Fame.