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February 21, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Famed broadcaster Dick Enberg drops by Mariners camp

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Not everyday you get to shoot the breeze with a sportscasting heavyweight like this. But here I was, walking through the Peoria Sports Complex grounds when who should I stumble upon talking to M’s executive Tony Blengino? None other than Dick Enberg, the famed football, basketball, baseball and, of course, tennis announcer for NBC and now CBS and ESPN. Growing up in Canada, I used to listen to Enberg do NFL games every weekend from afar, never thinking I’d ever have a chance to meet and talk to him. He was one of my favorites.
Well, it turns out he’s going to be broadcasting San Diego Padres games this year as their play-by-play TV guy. the Padres made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, allowing him to do Wimbledon and other big-time network events while continuing to do their games when he comes back. He’s a Michigan native, but longtime San Diego resident and told me he’s very excited about the opportunity to follow the hometown team.


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The Padres and Mariners share facilities here, so Enberg, in town for six days doing promotional events and getting to know the team’s manager and GM, came around looking for Dave Niehaus. The two used to work together doing Angels games in the 1960s before their careers diverged.
I asked Enberg who came up with their signature call first: was it Enberg’s “Oh, my!” or the Niehaus “My, oh my!” call?
Enberg said it was indeed him, who began using his call in 1957 as a graduate student working for the Indiana Sports Network. He laughed and said it was possible Niehaus gained some inspiration from it in adopting his call, but then added that “Oh,my!” was actually a pretty common Midwest expression, especially for sports, so it wasn’t like he was reinventing the wheel or anything.
Turns out a young broadcaster from Florida once approached him and actually apologized, saying he used — make that overused — the “Oh, my!” call in games he did. Enberg laughed at this, saying he took it as a compliment and added that it’s not like he trademarked the call or anything.
Niehaus isn’t coming down here until March, so Enberg soon went on his way. But an interesting chat to start a Sunday morning.
As you can tell from the photo, the sun is starting to come out a bit now and there are some players out there warming up. Back to work for me, but thought I’d share this with you. On a somewhat lesser broadcast note, down below is a replay of Geoff Baker Live! from Friday.

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