Legendary sportscaster Dick Stockton is calling it a career. After 55 years in the business, Stockton announced on Thursday that he’s decided to retire.
“After a fulfilling 55-year career, I’ve decided to step aside, enjoying the many memorable events I’ve been blessed to cover, and ready to enjoy doing more things away from the broadcast booth,” Stockton said in a Fox Sports press release. “My 27 years at FOX Sports have been the most rewarding, and my talented production colleagues and a loyal, supportive management have made the experience more pleasurable than I had ever hoped. I wish everyone in my field could work for FOX Sports. Working alongside former players and coaches, many of whom are still in the FOX rotation, has been a particular joy. But I feel there is a time to call it a day and allow the many younger broadcasters the chance to develop their careers, just as I had the opportunity years ago. I have nothing but indelible memories of being part of the sports landscape for over seven decades and will now sit back and watch the future of sports broadcasting unfold.”
Stockton, 78, has called it all. According to Fox, he’s called 1,545 network television games over the four major US sports, which is more than any American sports broadcaster in history.
Stockton’s career is legendary
Stockton, a Philadelphia native, got into sportscasting not long after his broadcast career began in 1965, and by 1975 he was the voice of the Boston Red Sox. He joined CBS Sports full time in 1978 and stayed there until 1994, when he jumped over to the brand new Fox Sports to call NFL games for their newly-acquired NFC package. Stockton has been there ever since.
With 1,545 network television games under his belt, Stockton has called it all. He’s called nine NBA finals and six Super Bowls. He was the lead NBA play-by-play broadcaster for CBS from 1982-1990. He’s called swimming, diving, boxing, and Olympic figure skating and speed skating. He was on the mic when Dan Jansen and Bonnie Blair both won speed skating gold at the 1994 Winter Olympics, which Stockton calls one of the highlights of his career.
Perhaps most memorably, Stockton called Carlton Fisk’s legendary 12th-inning walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. After making the call, Stockton did what the best broadcasters know to do: stay quiet and let the cheering crowd tell the story.
The hole Stockton will leave at Fox Sports is larger than just his broadcasting. He’s served as a mentor for every single NFL broadcaster that’s come through Fox Sports. He also mentored Eric Shanks when he was just entry-level production assistant — now he’s the CEO of Fox Sports.
“Dick’s contributions to Fox Sports began on day one of our existence and will be felt for years to come,” Shanks said via Fox Sports. “He is a cornerstone of this company whose legacy, talent and hard work helped build the NFL on Fox brand. Growing up as a sports fan, I knew his voice signified a big game, but later working with him, I realized just how big and irreplaceable that voice truly is. Dick will be greatly missed, and we at Fox Sports wish him the best in retirement.”
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