The longtime voice of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, Bob Wolff (center) also was behind the microphone for World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Final and NFL championship calls. Photo courtesy of Long Island Ducks/Twitter
Bob Wolff, a versatile and prolific sportscaster whose career spanned 78 years, died Saturday at age 96 in South Nyack, N.Y.
The longtime voice of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, he also was behind the microphone for World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Final and NFL championship calls.
The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted him into the broadcaster's wing in 1995, and the Basketball Hall of Fame did likewise in 2008. He and Curt Gowdy are the only broadcasters to receive both honors.
Wolff also is in the National Sportscasters-Sportswriters Hall of Fame.
Most recently, Wolff was a commentator for News 12 Long Island from 1986 through this February.
Guinness World Records honored him from having the longest sports broadcasting career in 2012.
Wolff got his start on radio in 1939 while attending Duke University. After a stint in the Navy during World War II, he became an early TV sportscaster in Washington, D.C., in the mid-1940s, then got a job as the Washington Senators' play-by-play man.
In addition to his work with the Knicks and Rangers, Wolff was part of the team for NBC's baseball "Game of the Week" broadcasts. He called Don Larsen's perfect game for the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers on Oct. 8, 1956, as well as the NFL's "Greatest Game Ever Played," when Alan Ameche's 1-yard run gave the Baltimore Colts an overtime win in the 1958 NFL championship game.
Madison Square Garden released a statement that read, "Bob Wolff was not only one of the seminal figures in American sportscasting, but he was a part of the very fabric of Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers for more than six decades. In addition to leaving behind an unmatched body of work, his spirit carries on in hundreds of broadcasters he mentored and the millions of fans he touched. His legacy will live forever."
The New York Yankees added in a statement, "Bob Wolff's iconic, Hall-of-Fame broadcasting career was matched by his class and character. 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."