Jack Buck- Biography
Jack Buck was one of America’s most beloved sportscasters, best remembered as the former voice of the St. Louis Cardinals. He was drafted into the United States Army and was awarded the Purple Cross for his heroic service during World War II. He began his broadcasting career with KMOX radio, calling Cardinals games alongside Harry Caray, Milo Hamilton, and Joe Garagiola, and ultimately became the team’s primary play-by-play announcer. Jack had a fantastic working relationship with Mike Shannon that lasted nearly three decades. When the Cardinals triumphed, he exclaimed, “That’s a winner!” with extra zeal as a Cardinals supporter.
“Go crazy, guys!” and “We’ll see you next night!” were two of his most memorable calls. His phone calls were spontaneous, real, and amusing. Aside from baseball, he was a sports announcer for a variety of other sports. He called National Football League games and shared the radio voice of Monday Night Football with Hank Stram. Jack presided over 16 Super Bowls and provided play-by-play for one. He was the voice of the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues. He has also worked as a radio announcer for a Stanley Cup final. He received numerous honors, including the Ford C. Frick Award and the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.
Jack Buck- Birth, Age, Ethnicity, Siblings, Education
Earle Buck, a railway accountant, and Kathleen Buck gave birth to Jack Buck. He was the third of seven brothers and sisters. During the Great Depression, the family struggled, and living was especially harsh during the winters.
Earle’s family joined him in Cleveland in 1939, where he worked for Erie Railroad, but he died of uremic disease. Lakewood High School was where Jack finished his high school education.
Jack Buck- Relationship, Married Life
He married Carole Lintzenich after divorcing Alyce Larson in 1969. From his two marriages, he has three sons, Jack Jr., Dan, and Joe Buck, and four daughters, Beverly, Christine, Bonnie, Betsy, and Julie.
At the time of his death, he was suffering from lung cancer and Parkinson’s disease. As astonished admirers grieved the broadcaster’s passing, he was laid to rest at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in south St. Louis County.
Jack Buck- Professional Career
In 1942, Jack Buck began working aboard a steamer as a porter and chef, among other occupations. Because of his color blindness, he was unqualified to be a deck watch. He joined the United States Army in 1943, and after completing the required basic training, he was promoted to corporal. Two years later, he was sent to the 9th Infantry Division. He saw action in the Battle of Remagen on the German front in 1945, and a shrapnel wound confined him to an Army Hospital in France. Jack was discharged after refusing to re-enlist.
He majored in radio speech at Ohio State University. During his university days, he sharpened his commentary talents by providing play-by-play commentary for the university basketball games. In 1950, he was hired as an announcer for the Columbus Redbirds, a minor league club of the St. Louis Cardinals. He started working for WBNS-TV in Columbus two years later. He rose to prominence in 1953 as the voice of the Rochester Red Wings, a top minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Twins and an International League team. For the 1954 season, he joined the broadcast team of the St. Louis Cardinals, based in Missouri. The broadcasting staff for this Major League Baseball contest included Harry Caray, Milo Hamilton, Joe Garagiola, and Buck.
He was fired from the Cardinals broadcasting team after the 1959 season. In the following season, he collaborated with Carl Erskine to announce late-afternoon Saturday games for ABC’s Game of the Week telecasts. When his replacement in the Cardinals, Buddy Blattner, quit in 1961, he was hired again. By the end of the decade, Garagiola and Caray had left the team. He rose to the position of team’s primary play-by-play announcer. He called American Football League games for ABC for four years. In 1964, he began calling National Football League games for the Chicago Bears and, two seasons later, the Dallas Cowboys for CBS.
As the voice of the St. Louis Blues in the National Hockey League, he collaborated with Jay Randolph and Gus Kyle to cover the Stanley Cup Final for KMOX radio in 1968. Jim Woods, an ex-Pittsburgh Pirates announcer, joined the Cardinals in 1970–71, assuming the No. 2 place on the announcing team. However, due to disagreements with Buck, Woods quit the squad at the end of the season. Mike Shannon, a retired Cardinals third baseman, joined him in the radio booth in 1972 and took up the secondary role. The two got along well and had a partnership that lasted 28 years.
In 1975, he hosted the GrandStand, the first official NFL pregame show on NBC. It was created in response to the popularity of ABC’s pregame show Wide World of Sports. He called the first NFL game played outside of the United States in 1976. The St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Padres played an exhibition game at Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. From 1978 until 1995, he shared the voice of CBS Radio’s Monday Night Football with Hank Stram. He also served as a part-time radio broadcaster for the Cardinals football team. One of his final public appearances occurred in 2001, at the Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, six days after the September 11 terrorist attacks. He delivered passionate patriotic poetry.
The Cardinals’ Ozzie Smith hit the game-winning home run in Game 5 of the 1985 National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, prompting Jack Buck to yell, “Go crazy, everybody!” Kirby Puckett’s last-minute home run forced Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, with the Atlanta Braves leading the Minnesota Twins 3-2. Baseball fans still remember Buck’s call, “We’ll see you tomorrow night!”
- Buck received the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award in 1987, as well as the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.
- In two categories, he was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame: media personality and sports legend. In 1990, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
- He was honored with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame, and since 1998, a bronze statue of him has stood at the entrance to Busch Memorial Stadium.
- Two other baseball stars, broadcaster Lindsey Nelson and American Major League pitcher Warren Spahn, were also injured at the Battle of Remagen during WWII, as was this announcer.
- As a tribute to his father’s memory, this broadcaster’s son Joe, who is himself a broadcaster, frequently signs off with “We’ll see you tomorrow night!”