Garagiola transcended baseball as a member of NBC's "The Today Show" cast for seven years and also filled in for Johnny Carson as a guest host on "The Tonight Show". The award is presented annually to a broadcaster who has made a major contribution to the game. He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1942, and spent nine years in the Major Leagues with the Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs, and Giants. During the last 18 years of his broadcasting career, Garagiola called games for the Arizona Diamondbacks, where his son was a front office vice president.
He received the 2014 Buck O'Neill Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame for "extraordinary efforts to enhance baseball's positive impact on society".
Mr. Garagiola was propelled from the catcher's box into the broadcast booth largely by his crowd-pleasing appearance before a U.S. Senate subcommittee on monopoly practices in April 1954.
He served as a co-host of "Today" from 1967-1973 and 1991-1992. He and his childhood friend, Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra, both went on to play in the major leagues.
More recently, Garagiola was heavily involved in MLB's campaign to eradicate the use of chewing tobacco, and was among the founders of the Baseball Assistance Team that helps former players who have fallen on hard times. He became one of the defining voices of baseball on NBC's Game of the Week.
His gregarious personality afforded him opportunities to host a number of game shows in the late 60s and early 70s, including "Sale of the Century" and 'To Tell the Truth'.
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First-class baseball broadcaster and all-time great player Joe Garagiola Sr. passed away in Scottsdale, Arizona age 90, the Arizona Diamondbacks confirmed in a sad tweet on March 23. The Cardinals won the World Series that season, and Garagiola had six hits in 19 at-bats, including a 4 for 5, three-RBI effort in Game4. The team of Scully and Garagiola covered a few All-Star games, NLCS games, and World Series games, in addition to their Saturday "Game of the Week" duties. Both men had a way of relating to the audience that served both long-time fans and people new to the game.
In 1949 Mr. Garagiola married Audrie Ross, the organist at the Cardinals' ballpark in St. Louis.
Some of those with whom he worked on Diamondbacks broadcasts remember him for his knowledge, humor, accomplishment and notes of appraisal.
"I was the only unknown there - and I was hosting", Garagiola told USA Today in 2013.
After his time with the Yankees, Garagiola returned to NBC to host "The Baseball World of Joe Garagiola" and alternated play-by-play duties with Curt Gowdy until 1976 when he became the full-time play-by-play guy for NBC's "Game of the Week" coverage. Our honest condolences to his family.
"Each year I don't play, I get better", Mr. Garagiola wrote in "Baseball Is a Funny Game". The funeral will be held at an unspecified date in his hometown of St. Louis.