Hank Goldberg, Betting Maven and Sports Radio Star, Dies at 82

Joe Zagacki, considered one of Mr. Goldberg’s producers at WIOD, recalled in a cellphone interview a day when “Hank had an argument with a caller — he had one of his volcanic explosions — and I said, ‘My goodness, you just hammered that guy. You’re ‘Hammering Hank Goldberg.’”

The nickname caught. After he began at ESPN in 1993, Mr. Goldberg started banging a mallet on a studio desk to precise his disagreement with a colleague or his disdain for a sports activities determine. He referred to himself as “Hammer.”

He initially appeared on ESPN2, which was new at the time and was trying to succeed in a youthful viewers with anchors who wearing an off-the-cuff, cool type. Not Mr. Goldberg, who was positively not cool however introduced a unusual, brassy character to the community — though it was extra congenial than his in-your-face radio demeanor.

“Hank could fit into any genre; he could fit anywhere,” mentioned Suzy Kolber, a longtime anchor and reporter at ESPN who labored with Mr. Goldberg on ESPN2 and in Florida. “Plug him into the horse-racing crowd or the ESPN2 bunch. He fit right in.”

Henry Edward Goldberg was born on July 4, 1940, in Newark and grew up in South Orange, N.J. His mom, Sadie (Abben) Goldberg, was a homemaker; his father, Hy, was a sports activities columnist for The Newark Evening News. Hy Goldberg continuously took his spouse and youngsters to the Yankees’ spring coaching in Florida, the place younger Hank turned pleasant with Joe DiMaggio, who referred to as him Henry, Ms. Goldberg mentioned in an interview.

At 17, Mr. Goldberg went to the racetrack for the primary time and gained $450 when he hit the each day double at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. When he introduced his winnings house, he recalled, his father instructed him, “Oh, you’re in trouble now.” In an interview this yr with The Las Vegas Review-Journal, he added, “He knew I’d never get over my love for the races.”


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