Three Legendary Winners of Academy’s Ronald Reagan Media Award Retiring from Broadcasting

By October 20, 2016News & Events
Verne Lundquist

Verne Lundquist. Photo: Mitchell Layton

DAPHNE, Ala. – The storied careers of three renowned broadcasters who have been honored with the United States Sports Academy’s Ronald Reagan Media Award – Dick Enberg, Verne Lundquist and Vin Scully – all come to a close this year through retirement.

Lundquist, the winner of the Academy’s 2016 Ronald Reagan Media Award, will retire at the end of the Southeastern Conference football season. Enberg, who was honored with the Reagan Award in 1989 and 2013, retired this year. In September, Scully retired from broadcasting after 67 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He won the Reagan Award in 1986.

The Academy’s Ronald Reagan Media Award, named in honor of the 40th President of the United States, is presented annually to an individual for outstanding contributions to sport through broadcasting, print, photography or acting. The individual, like this year’s award winner, should exhibit imagination, excitement and genius in kindling a keen public interest and appreciation for the role of sport in modern society.

Vin Scully

Vin Scully. Photo: officialvinscully.com

Scully’s 67-year career broadcasting Dodgers games was the longest tenure of any broadcaster with one single professional sports team. He joined announcers Red Barber and Connie Desmond on the Brooklyn Dodgers’ broadcast team in 1950, then followed the Dodgers when the team moved west to Los Angeles for the 1958 season.

At age 25, Scully was the youngest person ever to broadcast a World Series game when the Dodgers played the New York Yankees in the 1953 championship series.

Scully is known for his calm voice, descriptive style and for his signature Dodger broadcast introduction: “It’s time for Dodger baseball! Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good afternoon to you, wherever you may be.” In the Christian Science Monitor, Ruth Walker said Scully “was what baseball sounded like.”

Lending his talents to both radio and television, he was inducted into the Broadcaster’s wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 as the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award.

Enberg began broadcasting in 1957 and for more than half a century provided play-by-play in various sports for such networks as NBC, where he worked for 25 years, CBS, and ESPN. He became well known for his signature catchphrase during outstanding plays: “Oh, my!”

Dick Enberg

Dick Enberg, right, received the Academy’s 2013 Ronald Reagan Media Award from Judy Sweet, a former Academy trustee and longtime University of California San Diego athletics director. The presentation was made before a June 2013 game between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park.

In 2015, Enberg was named the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting from the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He has been selected for broadcasting awards from the Halls of Fame of professional football, baseball and basketball.

Enberg retired in September after seven seasons as the television play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres. In Enberg’s last week on the job, he made a guest appearance in the booth with Scully, who also retired.

In August, Lundquist began his 54th year in broadcasting. Currently, he teams with Gary Danielson and Allie LaForce to call the Southeastern Conference “Game of the Week” on CBS during college football season. A sports media veteran, Lundquist has broadcasted 20 different sports in his lengthy career with networks such as TNT, CBS Sports and ABC Sports.

Lundquist is known for providing the voice to numerous exciting sporting events over the years. On 28 March, 1992, Lundquist called Duke’s thrilling National Collegiate Athletics Association Men’s Basketball East Regional Finals win against Kentucky. Christian Laettner’s 17-foot game-winning jump shot was made more memorable for Lundquist’s call: “There’s the pass to Laettner…puts it up…YES!”

Lundquist has received a host of national awards and recognitions for his service. He was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 2007. In May 2016, Lundquist won the Sports Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2015 he and Danielson were honored with the Maxwell Football Club’s Excellence in Broadcasting award.

The Ronald Reagan Media Award is part of the United States Sports Academy’s Awards of Sport, which each year serve as “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete.” The Academy presents the awards to pay tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sport, in categories as diverse as the artist and the athlete in several different arenas of sport. The awards honor exemplary achievement in coaching, all-around athletic performance, courage, humanitarian activity, fitness, and media, among others. The Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) annually recognizes these men and women through its Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Distinguished Service Awards, Medallion Series, Outstanding Athletes, and Alumni of the Year awards.

Based in Daphne, Ala., the United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

Founded in 1984, ASAMA is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of nearly 2,000 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For more information, go to www.asama.org.