Les Grobstein

Sports radio has lost a famed Chicago voice. That would be Les Grobstein, a figure on several stations in the area for over 50 years and a regular overnight host for 670 The Score since 2009. As Chicago media reporter Robert Feder wrote in the first link above, Grobstein was found dead Sunday afternoon at his home in Elk Grove Village, as per 670 The Score program director Mitch Rosen. Grobstein’s family is raising money for his funeral expenses on GoFundMe here. Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune has some more on what made Grobstein a key local sports figure:

Les Grobstein was the keeper of “the tape,” and if you had to ask, “What tape?” you didn’t know Les.

For the uninitiated, “the tape” was the profanity-laden postgame interview with former Chicago Cubs manager Lee Elia, which Grobstein recorded for his radio station and helped turn into one of the most famous stories in local sports lore.

…Grobstein spent more than 50 years reporting and commenting on the Chicago sports scene and was in press boxes in his final days. Just last month at a Loyola-DePaul basketball game, Grobstein was asked the last time the two schools had met in a really “big” game.

“When Ray Meyer was coach,” he said, referring to the late DePaul legend, before going into a long story about the era.

If it was a Chicago sports fact and Grobstein confirmed it, you didn’t have to go to the internet to fact-check. He was that good.

Some of Grobstein’s past work includes time as a stringer phoning in scores and quotes to the Associated Press and local TV stations, time as a reporter for WLS 980, Tributes to Grobstein have poured in on Twitter, including ones from Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, Bulls’ radio voice (and long-time Chicago radio figure) Chuck Swirsky, and many others:

For those looking to help the Grobstein family (Les’ long-time partner Kathy and son Scott) with funeral costs, that fundraiser is here.

[Photo from GoFundMe]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.