Hank Greenwald, the witty, erudite and iconic voice of the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco/Golden State Warriors, died Monday at age 83.
“Hank was a broadcasting legend throughout the Bay Area and was a huge part of the Giants throughout his 16 seasons as our play-by-play announcer,” said Giants President/CEO Larry Baer in a statement. “He was the key link to our fans listening at home and brought our game to life through the radio.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday that Greenwald had been suffering from heart issues and kidney failure in recent months, and after an onset of bronchitis, he was taken to the hospital Saturday.
“He’d just been feeling rotten for a long time,” his wife, Carla told the Chronicle. “He died after valiant efforts by a fabulous medical staff.”
Though the cigar-chomping Greenwald was best known for his two stints with the Giants (1979-86, 1989-96) Greenwald moved to the Bay Area to join the legendary Bill King on the Warriors broadcast team in 1964.
“Hank was a broadcasting legend throughout the Bay Area & was a huge part of the Giants throughout his 16 seasons as our play-by-play announcer. He was the key link to our fans listening at home & brought our game to life through the radio.” –#SFGiants President & CEO Larry Baer pic.twitter.com/DQQ8ounG6I
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) October 23, 2018
Greenwald’s Most Famous Calls
Greenwald called New York Yankees games on radio for two years between his stints with the Giants. Before retiring, he did television play-play for the Oakland A’s in 2004 and 2005.
In 1989, when the Giants defeated the Chicago Cubs for the National League title, Greenwald told listeners: “Twenty-seven years of waiting have come to an end! The Giants have won the pennant!”
But before the final out of that game, he delivered his most famous line following Will Clark’s single off Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams:
“And Clark hits it up the middle, into center-field, base hit!!! Maldonado scores! Here comes Butler…on his way to third is Thompson, the Giants lead three to one!!! And Superman has done it again!”
Greenwald Called It the Way He Saw It
Greenwald also was an announcer from another era, filling the time pitches with wry observations about history and current events.
He also called the Giants’ play as he saw it, sometimes getting himself in trouble with team executives who wanted to him to put a positive spin on the club’s often lackluster performances.
Watch Clark’s Hit, Hear Greenwald’s Call
Road to the Big Leagues
The Detroit native was born Howard Greenberg but changed his name to Hank to honor Tigers star and Hall of Fame slugger Hank Greenberg.
Greenwald started in sports play-by-play calling football games for his alma mater, Syracuse University and also was a broadcaster for the NBA’s Syracuse Nationals. He made his way to the West Coast in the 1960s as the voice of the Triple-A Hawaii Islanders in the Pacific Coast League.
Greenwald is survived by his wife, Carla, and their two children Doug, 44, and Kellie, 40.
Doug Greenwald is the longtime voice of the PCL’s Fresno Grizzlies.