Bob Wolff, sportscaster for 8 decades, dies at 96

Bob Wolff, who spent eight decades as a sportscaster and provided the play-by-play when the New York Knicks captured their two NBA championships in the 1970s, has died. He was 96.

Wolff, who was inducted into the broadcasters wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995, died Saturday in South Nyack, N.Y., his son Rick toldThe New York Times.

The genial Wolff called the Knicks games when they won their NBA titles in 1969-70 and 1972-73, working alongside analyst Cal Ramsey, and did games for the NHL's New York Rangers as well. He was a fixture at Madison Square Garden events for some 50 years.

Legendary sportscaster Bob Wolff throughout his career

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Legendary sportscaster Bob Wolff throughout his career
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Legendary sportscaster Bob Wolff throughout his career
BOB WOLFF, JOE GARAGIOLA -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC Sports Joe Garagiola, Bob Wolff in 1962 -- Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
BOB WOLFF, JOE GARAGIOLA -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC Sports Joe Garagiola, Bob Wolff in 1962 -- Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
BOB WOLFF -- Pictured: NBC Sports' Bob Wolff in 1962 -- Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
BOB WOLFF -- Pictured: NBC Sports' Bob Wolff in 1962 -- Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
BOB WOLFF, JOE GARAGIOLA -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC Sports Joe Garagiola, Bob Wolff in 1962 -- Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: 1962 SPRING TRAINING -- Pictured: (l-r) New York Yankee's Roger Maris, NBC Sports' Bob Wolff during Spring training at Progress Energy Park in St. Petersburg, Florida in April 1962 -- Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: 1962 SPRING TRAINING -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC Sports' Joe Garagiola, New York Yankees' Mickey Mantle, St. Louis Cardinals' Stan Musial, NBC Sports' Bob Wolff during Spring training at Progress Energy Park in St. Petersburg, Florida in April 1962 -- Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: 1962 SPRING TRAINING -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC Sports' Bob Wolff, New York Mets' third base coach Roger Hornsby, NBC Sports' Joe Garagiola during Spring training at Progress Energy Park in St. Petersburg, Florida in April 1962 -- Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
1962 NATIONAL INVITATION TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS -- Pictured: NBC Sports' Bob Wolff during the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY on March 24, 1962 -- Photo by: Bob Ganley/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
1962 NATIONAL INVITATION TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS -- Pictured: NBC Sports' Bob Wolff during the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY on March 24, 1962 -- Photo by: Bob Ganley/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
A Man Named Mays -- 'Press Conference' -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC Sports' Bob Wolff, baseball player Willie Mays during a press conference for 'A Man Named Mays' -- (Photo by: Bob Ganley/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
1962 NATIONAL INVITATION TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS -- Pictured: NBC Sports' Bob Wolff during the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY on March 24, 1962 -- Photo by: Bob Ganley/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
1962 NATIONAL INVITATION TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS -- Pictured: NBC Sports' Bob Wolff during the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY on March 24, 1962 -- Photo by: Bob Ganley/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
NEW YORK CITY, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Jane Wolff and Bob Wolff attend Book Launch For BRIDIE CLARK and her Debut Novel BECAUSE SHE CAN at The Home of Marisa & Matt Brown on February 12, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, MA - SEPTEMBER 4: Bob Wolff, Curt Gowdy Electronic Media Award winner speaks during the Bunn/Gowdy Awards Dinner on September 4, 2008 at the Springfield Marriott Ballroom in Springfield, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, MA - SEPTEMBER 5: Bob Wolff, Curt Gowdy Award winner speaks with Andre Aldridge during the 2008 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on September 5, 2008 at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 29: TV personality Bob Wolff attends the 52nd annual New York Emmy Awards gala at the Marriott Marquis on March 29, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 26: Bob Wolff, the pioneering television voice of the Washington Senators, speaks at the official announcement & celebration of his donation of the historic recording collection to Library of Congress. The Hall of Fame sports broadcaster's career covers nearly 75 years and touches nine decades ? the longest of any sportscaster in broadcast history. (Photo by Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Longtime sportscaster Bob Wolff looks on before a game between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium on May 1, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Mariners defeated the Yankees 4-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Legendary broadcaster Bob Wolff is honored by the Guiness Book of World Records for having the longest career as a sportscasster with 74 years 6 months and 8 days before the game between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners on May 1, 2014 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.Yankees manager Joe Girardi #28 and Guiness Book Adjudicator Mike Janela. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Legendary broadcaster Bob Wolff is honored by the Guiness Book of World Records for having the longest career as a sportscasster with 74 years 6 months and 8 days before the game between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners on May 1, 2014 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.Yankees manager Joe Girardi #28 and Guiness Book Adjudicator Mike Janela. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Legendary broadcaster Bob Wolff is honored by the Guiness Book of World Records for having the longest career as a sportscasster with 74 years 6 months and 8 days before the game between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners on May 1, 2014 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.Yankees manager Joe Girardi #28 and Guiness Book Adjudicator Mike Janela. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Sportscaster Bob Wolff is honored by manager Joe Girardi #28 of the New York Yankees and Mike Janela of the Guinness Book of World Records for his longevity during his career before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, May 1, 2014 in the Bronx Borough of New York City. The Mariners defeated the Yankees 4-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Wolff also worked for NBC and was in on the radio call when Don Larsen of the New York Yankees pitched a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1956 World Series and the Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants in sudden-death overtime to take the NFL crown in 1958.

Until early this year, Wolff provided sports commentary for Long Island-based News 12, beginning that gig when the cable station launched in 1986.

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The Guinness World Records credits him for having the "longest career as a sportscaster or broadcaster."

"Longevity comes with being a sportscaster," Wolff told the New York Post in January. "It's amazing. ...; For one thing, it's fun. You're talking about a sport you like. ...; There's tension in the game but not tension in what you do."

Wolff also did the World Series on television in 1958 and 1961 and called the Stanley Cup Final, so he was the rare broadcaster to work the title games in all four major U.S. sports.

A native of New York City, Wolff attended Duke University and broadcast Blue Devils baseball games on the radio. He served in the Navy during World War II, then became the Senators' first TV broadcaster in 1947. (Maury Povich was his statistician.)

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15. Charles Barkley
"Inside the NBA," CBC, Turner

Salary: $1.5 million annually

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14. Gary Neville
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13. Mike Tirico
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Salary: $3 million annually

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12. Chris Berman
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Salary: $3 million annually

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11. Joe Buck
Fox Network

Salary: $3 million annually

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10. Stephen A Smith
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9. Al Michaels
NBC

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8. Jim Nantz
CBS

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7. Dan Patrick
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6. Max Kellerman
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Salary from ESPN: $3 million
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5. Skip Bayless
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4. Jon Gruden
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3. Thierry Henry
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2. Bob Costas
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1. Jim Rome
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Wolff played the ukulele and once appeared with several Washington players on NBC's Today show. He was with the American League club through 1961, after the Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins.

Wolff, who also called games for the NBA's Detroit Pistons, donated about 1,000 hours of his work to the Library of Congress in 2013. Included are interviews he did with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Connie Mack, Vince Lombardi, Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, Jim Thorpe and Derek Jeter.

His memoir, It's Not Who Won or Lost the Game — It's How You Sold the Beer, was published in 1996. He's seen singing with the Senators in the book's cover photo.

Survivors also include his wife of more than 70 years, Joan. His son Rick hosts The Sports Edge show on Sunday mornings on WFAN radio.

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