Dick Enberg is retiring from broadcasting after this year, but before he does, he’ll call a single Detroit Tigers game for Fox Sports Detroit, the network announced Monday.
Enberg, who has called games for NBC, CBS and ESPN and is now the TV voice of the San Diego Padres, will serve as guest play-by-play man for the Tigers and Rays at Comerica Park on May 21. Via Fox Sports:
“One of baseball’s many charms is that it’s a generational game,” said Dick Enberg. “My grandfather rooted for the Tigers at Navin Field. My father took me to Briggs Stadium for my first Major League game in 1947 … Fred Hutchinson outpitched Bob Feller. In 1973, I called Nolan Ryan’s second no-hitter from the visiting booth at Tiger Stadium. And now after almost 70 years, this delicious opportunity to return to Detroit in my final broadcast season to refresh my historical love of the Tigers. Wouldn’t Grandpa and Dad be proud! Oh, My!”
Maybe in an alternate universe Enberg could have ended up calling games fulltime for his childhood-hometown Tigers, but the late Ernie Harwell was the man in Detroit from 196o-2002 (with a brief respite in Anaheim in 1992). The Tigers now utilize Mario Impemba as their primary play-by-play announcer.
Enberg emerged on the national scene in the mid-1970s, covering a variety of sports for NBC and eventually drifted to CBS and then ESPN. In 2009 he became the Padres’ play-by-play man, choosing a steady job in his home market over the rigors of a national gig.
Enberg has been one of the best at what he does for a long time, and if anyone deserves a special assignment to brings him full circle, it’s him. Sure his one-game stint in Detroit is a goofy stunt, but it’s also a pretty cool tribute to a truly great broadcaster. If Derek Jeter and Kobe Bryant can get season-long retirement tours, Dick Enberg might as well get a day or two in his honor, right?
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