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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Highlights from Bob Chase's life

<p>News-Sentinel file photo</p> <p>One of Chase's finest contributions is the work of protege Mike Emrich has has become the preeminent hockey broadcaster in the world.<br /> <div> </div> </p> <p> </p>

News-Sentinel file photo

One of Chase's finest contributions is the work of protege Mike Emrich has has become the preeminent hockey broadcaster in the world.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Legendary broadcaster passes away at age 90

Thursday, November 24, 2016 07:02 am
Quotes from Bob Chase: Retired as a regular on WOWO after 56 years, May 22, 2009

"I've always said I'm thankful for the listeners because had they not turned the radio on and invited me into their home, whether it be as a disc jockey, commentator, sports reporter or play-by-play man, none of this would have happened. If they turned on WOWO, I came into their homes at their invitation. I've always tried to remember that and maintain humility. That's why I'm so humble, and I can't believe all the things that are happening to me. What have I done to deserve all this? I'm not that good a guy."

Bob Chase Bobblehead, April 6, 2007

"It's like so many things that happen. You don't do it because you want it, but because you love what you are doing. It never entered my mind that I was going to be (the) subject of a bobblehead. When (they) told me, I wouldn't believe it, and I felt bad that maybe I won when somebody else should have. I felt kind of bad because I'm not a player, but I really appreciate it."

Named to internet Minor League Hockey Hall of Fame, Nov. 15, 2005,

"You don't set out in your life or in your job thinking I want an award. You kind of do your job, and I do mine because I love what I do, and that's where it all comes from. The fruits of all those labors, whether if they are awards or just a kind word, are all bonuses. Anybody can reach the pinnacle of success and they can become multimillionaires, and some people never really are recognized for anything. And it isn't how much it costs or how much it's worth; it's that somebody recognizes you just for doing your job, and to me, that's all the award I could ever ask for."

Celebrating 50th anniversary with Komets, March 8, 2003

"I never consciously tried to point myself to impact people or impress people. My dad always told me, 'Be yourself, and if you can't, then get the hell out of the business.' I feel flattered that I've had that kind of impact on people."

"Had it not been for the public who accepted me, I wouldn't be here. Whenever you are in my business, if the radio is on and they are listening it's by invitation only because the minute they don't like you they are on to something else. I have never lost sight of that."

Former players quotes:

For 63 years Bob Chase has been chronicling the actions of Fort Wayne Komets players, and here are some of their favorite stories about Chase from March 8, 2003.

George Drysdale: "I used to help Bob out on the broadcasts. This was the St. Paul game that went until 1:30 (a.m.) or so. Bob and I used to have a few beers up there in a brief case. Well, we ran out and we had been talking for four or five hours. I went down to get something, and I got a bottle of 7-up. I was walking back up to the radio booth and a guy stopped me. He said take a horn out of that. I did and he filled it up with booze. So we're sitting there and Bob hasn't taken a drink of it yet, and the red light goes on and naturally, that's the time we're going back on the air. Just before the light went off, Bob takes a great big drink out of this thing. He lost his voice for about 15 seconds. I started to laugh. Oh, dear, that was funny."

Len Thornson: "One time we went to Des Moines, and Ken (Ullyot) couldn't come for some reason (separated shoulder). Bob was going to be the coach, too. He was right there giving us advice on the lines and everything. Bob was the most rah-rah guy you ever saw. I think we won both games, and he was the assistant coach from the press box."

Reggie Primeau: "This one trip we were going to Des Moines, and I brought this mouth organ. I was learning to play Christmas carols, and I could play 'Silent Night,' just a few bars. The guys would holler at me to shut up so they could sleep. We get to Des Moines and Bob says, 'Here, give me that.' The guys were in the dressing room, and I was pretending to play it, and they thought I was doing it, but Bob was great. He got a big kick out of that."

Lionel Repka: "I'm in awe how many lives Bob has touched. A lot of people would come up to me in Florida and tell me how they enjoyed the games, and then I'd get fan mail from all over. I got a letter once from a truck driver from Pittsburgh named Repka. He traveled all over and listened to WOWO."

Norm Waslawski: "One time in Des Moines we were in the playoffs and getting ready to get on a plane. Chase puts his hands up to his mouth like a loud speaker and he acted (like) he was paging Reggie (Primeau) to come to a different gate for an urgent message. You could hear it right through the whole terminal. Reggie went and everybody was hiding round the corner. He was a prankster, always pulling stuff."

Robbie Laird: "I think Bob Chase broadcasting Komets games for 50 years is by far the most significant feat in Komet history, and nothing comes close in my opinion. No amount of goals or championships won comes close to Bob 's achievement. Chaser has touched so many people in a positive way."

Gerry Randall: "There are superstars and then there are superstars. The Gordie Howes and the Bob Chases, the longevity-type guys, they are the real superstars. They hung in there and they've been loyal."

Former Muskegon broadcaster Terry Ficorelli: "A few years ago the UHL All-Star Game was in Muskegon (2000), and up to that point I had not had the pleasure of working with Bob . ... What I was impressed with was even though it was an all-star game and Bob has been around seemingly forever, was how excited and enthusiastic he was. He was oozing gusto. After a while it just becomes a job, and you could see with Bob even after all of these years of doing it as we got closer to air time how he was just lighting up. It excited everyone. We had a crew from ESPN, and even they were remarking about how the old guy is still full of enthusiasm and vinegar."


* Covering Big Ten football from 1958 to 1966

* Parnelli Jones introducing turbine engine at Indy 500 in 1967

* Milan-Muncie Central game in 1954

* Komets win 1993 Turner Cup by beating San Diego in Fort Wayne

* Komets and St. Paul play four overtimes in 1960

* Komets win 1963 Turner Cup by beating Minneapolis in Fort Wayne

* John Anderson game against Peoria in 1991 Turner Cup finals

* Covering first NHL game St. Louis vs. Chicago in 1968 for KMOX in St. Louis

* Komets win 1973 Turner Cup in Port Huron

* Michigan State-Notre Dame in 1966


* Induction into hall of fames for Broadcast Pioneers, Indiana Sportscasters and Avilla and Baer Field raceways, being named Sagamore of the Wabash and having IHL broadcaster of the year award named for him

* Receiving Lester Patrick Award from NHL and USA Hockey 2012

* Elvis Presley interview added to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

* Interviewing Vice President Dan Quayle

* Covering President Kennedy assassination

* Interviewing Bob Hope

* Interviewing Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra for Tommy Dorsey tribute

* Interviewing Wayne Gretzky

* Renovation of Memorial Coliseum in 2002

* Watching the progress of protege Mike Emrick


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