Thursday, January 15, 2009

Red Rush passes away

Sorry to learn of the passing of "Red" Rush at the age of 81 this past Sunday. Rush was one of the most enthusiastic play-by-play men of any era, having shined in the Chicago and San Francisco markets during the 60's and 70's, and even into the 1980's.

In Chicago, he called baseball, basketball, and hockey. He is remembered for being the voice of the Loyola Ramblers on radio during their 1963 run to the NCAA Championship, and then joining the late Bob Elson in the White Sox radio booth for the 1966 and 1967 seasons. He replaced Milo Hamilton when Milo left Chicago to join Braves radio booth for their first season in Atlanta in '66. Red also handled TV play-by-play of (and I'm showing my age here!) the WHA Chicago Cougars in WSNS-TV in the mid-70's.

The hockey stint was upon his return from San Francisco, where he was hired by Charlie Finley for radio play-by-play of the Oakland A's. (The Finley Farm in LaPorte Indiana was easily within range of the White Sox radio games, so Finley knew what he was getting.)

Rush later went on to handle Warriors basketball and a variety of other Bay Area assignments.

Yet, when the story first broke, the Chicago Tribune misspelled his real first name, Wresley, calling him "Wesley". The San Francisco Chronicle got his name right.

I was fortunate enough to meet Red on several occasions while working in Chicago in the early and mid-70's. As a result, I already miss him as a person, as well as from his broadcasting days.

Heaven is having its most enthusiastic week in a long time. No doubt about it. Thanks, Red!

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