The man whose voice carried the sounds of Cleveland Indians baseball to generations of Northeast Ohio radio listeners has passed away.
The Cleveland Indians confirm that Herb Score, who called the Indians' games on radio (and initially, on TV) from 1964 through Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, died this morning at his Rocky River home at the age of 75 after a long illness.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a detailed obituary for Score here.
The team expressed its condolences in a statement by team president Paul Dolan:
"Today is a sad day for the Cleveland Indians family and for Cleveland Indians fans everywhere. We have lost one of the greatest men in the history of our franchise. Generations of Indians fans owe their love of the Tribe to Herb Score, who was a powerful pitcher and legendary broadcaster. Our thoughts and prayers are with Nancy and the family."
Many Northeast Ohioans are far too young to remember Score's baseball career as a promising young left-handed pitcher with the Tribe...a career effectively cut short after Score was hit in the face by a pitch hit by (it would figure) a Yankees batter in 1957.
Though Score ended up returning to the mound, his playing career never attained the heights that many expected before the ball hit him.
Broadcasting eventually beckoned, and the rest is Cleveland Indians history.
And Score had a personal health battle after he stepped away from the Indians Radio Network microphone after that heartbreaking World Series loss in 1997. A year later, he was seriously hurt in a near-fatal car accident in New Philadelphia, which - along with a 2002 stroke - impacted his health for the remaining 10 years of his life.
As far as his broadcast career, perhaps no statement sums it up more than that of fellow iconic local sports broadcaster Joe Tait, the Voice of the Cavaliers. Quoting an article by MLB.com's Justice B. Hill:
"No one in the history of the game has seen more bad baseball than Herb Score," Tait once said.
Yeah, a lot of bad baseball. And yes, Herb occasionally forgot which stadium he was in...which basically added to his charm, style and popularity among Northeast Ohio baseball fans.
But Herb Score made it entertaining, and we were also very disappointed that he never got to call a World Championship in 34 seasons as the Indians play-by-play voice...