Bidwill on the passing of Joe Garagiola

Posted by Darren Urban on March 23, 2016 – 1:17 pm

Former player and announcer Joe Garagiola was baseball to me growing up. In those days, Arizona didn’t have a team, and games were on TV once a week basically — when Garagiola brought them into my house on NBC on Saturdays. Garagiola, who had been a part of the Diamondbacks since their inception (his son was GM at one point) passed away Wednesday. There was no better ambassador of the game. Garagiola was a St. Louis native, and had a relationship with the Cardinals and the Bidwill family from the franchise’s time in the city. Cardinals president Michael Bidwill released this statement about the passing of Garagiola:

“This is such a profound loss not only for the sports community but the nation as a whole. I literally know of no one who ever had a bad thing to say about Joe Garagiola. He was such a wonderful, gregarious and extraordinary man. Joe and my dad loved to talk about sports, ‘The Hill’ in St. Louis and their Catholic faith and we will always be grateful for the kindness he showed our family. Joe Garagiola was an American icon and he will truly be missed.”

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14 Responses to “Bidwill on the passing of Joe Garagiola”

  1. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 23, 2016 | Reply

    On the passing of Joe Garagiola;

    At first, I thought how sad.

    But looking at it a different way, what an amazing life. Not only playing the game he loved at the highest level and hanging out with legends of the game, he continued with the game as a broadcaster, sharing his knowledge and stories late into his life.He had a lifelong friend in Yogi. Heck, he was married to the same woman for 66 years and his son followed his lead into baseball. He lived to be 90 and was broadcasting till a couple years ago.

    Can’t be sad, I think I got to tip my hat to him and say well done. We all should have such a great life.

  2. By D on Mar 23, 2016 | Reply

    How sad. My greatest memories growing up watching national baseball games on the weekends with Garagiola and T. Kubek.

    My wife had to have surgery at the Barrow Brain Injury Center a few years ago, while I was there, I read about how Mr. Garagiola had a tumor growing behind his eye about 6 yrs ago and how he had the operation there and then went back to work the next season…I believe he was around 84 or 85 yrs old…that would have sent most people into retirement but the man loved the game so much to stop working in baseball…amazing person…

  3. By Scott H on Mar 23, 2016 | Reply

    I did not know this person…sad to hear about his passing. I’m not a huge baseball fan. But I relate to this through the recent passing of Harry Kalas, who was the voice of the Phillies for my entire lifetime. Together with Richie Ashburn, they were just a tremendous duo. Ashburn passed a while back. Kalas kept going. He was actually found dead in the broadcast booth…which seemed quite fitting for him. He was just a wonderful person.

    BTW, if people are thinking they have no idea who Harry Kalas is, think again. Because he did a LOT of work for NFL Films. And the voice who provides the commentary for the 2008 Cardinals NFC Championship DVD? None other than Harry Kalas.

    Anyway….that’s how I connect. Sorry to hear about this loss.

  4. By georgiebird on Mar 23, 2016 | Reply

    So ironic that the passing of Joe Garagiola followed so closely the passing of his childhood friend Yogi Berra. The Bidwill family, the Berra family and the Garagiola family- it doesn’t get any better than that.

  5. By Richard S on Mar 23, 2016 | Reply

    I once read he grew up across the street from Yogi Berra and they went to a major league tryout together. He ended up catching for the Cardinals and Yogi for the Yankees. I grew up listening to him and of course Harry Caray. It brings back memories like when my dad, a part time commercial fisherman, told me if I wanted an autograph of a major league player to go down to the river as he was bringing a scale down there to weigh some fish and there was an ex-ball player there. It turned out to be Marty Marion, whom I never heard of and the autographed baseball didn’t last long as it returned to being used.

  6. By David Cheney on Mar 24, 2016 | Reply

    When I grew up in St. Louis, I heard the story about Joe and Yogi being neighbors and then both becoming major league ballplayers around the same time. The street they lived on is named Elizabeth, but the block has been re-named Hall of Fame St., since not only did they live there, but Jack Buck also lived there when he was beginning his broadcasting career. Joe wasn’t quite as good as Yogi as a baseball player, but he was a great announcer and a great man. Total class all the time. He will be missed. R.I.P.

  7. By Dr. G. on Mar 24, 2016 | Reply

    Joe! What can we say? This man could literally do it all…and in world class fashion. To wit – He did The Today Show on tv; a frequent host of Carson’s Tonight Show, many popular game shows, dog shows…and on and on.

    He did a superior job announcing baseball and other sporting venues for many decades! He was a political junkie on the correct side of things…a true patriot.

    …married to the same woman for some 66 unlikely record these days!

    He always considered one of his greatest achievements in sports was to go against the grain by hammering on all tobacco, esp. the chew that baseball players considered part of the uniform.

    And, oh yeah, I almost forgot; he is memorialized as a hall of fame baseball player in many forums. …truly a humble American icon and role mode…many memories.

    RIP, Joe, you’re the man!

  8. By JohnnyBluenose on Mar 25, 2016 | Reply

    Darren…I always look forward to this blog, reading your articles and the comments they generate. But I have a question about the other articles that are written on the Cardinals’ site (Latest News), sometimes by you and sometimes by Kyle. Not about the articles themselves but about the comments they generate. Often they are not about the subject but people write about how they make money while working at home and today I read a comment on the Corey Peters article where someone wrote something nasty about what he did to one of the other’s mother. Pure fantasy but total crap nonetheless. If the comments on these articles are not monitored then no comments should be allowed. Happy Easter

  9. By Darren Urban on Mar 25, 2016 | Reply

    JohnnyBlue —

    RE: Comments

    I monitor the comments as much as I can. I am one person and it’s a 24/7/365 job.

  10. By Dr. G. on Mar 25, 2016 | Reply

    Darren – – Bluenose – – This blog never gets the ads for making the money thing, and rarely has a post that is nothing but ignorant trash. Darren will let the subject matter wander a bit because some subjects can bring up alternate questions or commentary. This is the cleanest blog out there. Some permit super foul language and disgusting exchanges.

    When I see the annoying regular making money spam ads, they are always tied to the “”news”” section, not the blog. And, they come from Facebook links, which I am not sure can be deleted. But, agreed, it is opportunistic spam that I would not like to see…what can you do? When on the net, some things are expected.

    Darren, repeating…you do a super job here. Now and then, I will still pick on your boy! THANKS for keeping the info coming. We can delete the occasional junk… looking to the draft and summer camp…be well

  11. By Scott H on Mar 25, 2016 | Reply

    Well, Rashad Johnson has moved on…..but I don’t think this is an impact loss for the Cardinals. He certainly did make some plays at some key moments, but it’s not like losing PP or the Honey Badger. I think the acquisition of Branch has us covered here.


  12. By georgiebird on Mar 25, 2016 | Reply

    Rashad Johnson was a good player and a great teammate. But RJ didn’t have the top-end talent to get the Cards to the next level.
    It was a good move to let him go and keep Tony Jefferson.

  13. By Ken T. on Mar 25, 2016 | Reply

    It’s sad that we lost him at such a young 90, but MAN! I am so grateful for how long the Good Lord let us have Joe! Say Hi to Yogi for us, Joe!

  14. By Don Short on Mar 26, 2016 | Reply

    Loved Michael’s commentary. It’s made me wonder, “What do team presidents have to do at this time of year, besides signing contracts of Free Agents?”.

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