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Bob Wolff, versatile and longtime sportscaster, dies at 96

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/17/2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Bob Wolff, the only sportscaster to call play-by-play of championships in all four major North American professional team sports, has died. He was 96.

Son Rick Wolff said his father died peacefully Saturday night at his Nyack home.

Wolff broadcast the NFL's championship game, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals. He interviewed Babe Ruth, was the voice of the Washington Senators, and for decades did play-by-play for the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.

Wolff was cited by the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest consecutive run as a broadcaster at 78 years, dating to 1939 on WDNC Radio when he was a student at Duke University. This year, he did sports commentary on News 12 Long Island and hosted the Con Edison Scholastic Sports Award program on WHUD Radio in Westchester.

Wolff called the only perfect game in World Series history when the Yankees' Don Larsen accomplished the feat against Brooklyn in 1956, and was behind the mic for Baltimore Colts' overtime victory over the New York Giants in the 1958 NFL title game. He did television play-by-play for the New York Knicks' two championships.

Wolff is enshrined in the broadcast wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the National Sportscasters-Sportswriters Hall of Fame, the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame, and in July 2008 was voted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame with the Curt Gowdy Award, joining Gowdy as the only two sportscasters to be in both the basketball and the baseball halls.

He is survived by Jane Wolff, his wife of 72 years, sons Dr. Robert Wolff and Rick Wolff, daughter Margy Clark, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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