Jack Buck, the longtime broadcaster of the St. Louis Cardinals died 12 years ago on June 18, 2002.
Buck’s passing came on the same day as the last pitch ever thrown by Darryl Kile, who would join him in passing on June 22nd, a few days later. Buck’s passing marked the saddest week in Cardinals history.
Buck was first hired to work Cardinals games on KMOX in 1954. Aside from not being a Cardinals broadcaster during the 1959-60 seasons, would be in this position for another 47 years before being forced to retire as a broadcaster. After teaming with Harry Caray from 1961-69, Buck was the team’s lead broadcaster from 1970 until he retired. Mike Shannon would join Buck in the booth starting in 1972.
Buck was behind the microphone for 18 Super Bowls and 11 World Series. Buck was there when Ozzie Smith hit a home run during Game 5 of the 1985 National League Championship Series, Kirk Gibson hit his home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, and the unforgettable walk-off home run by Kirby Puckett that sent the 1991 World Series to a 7th game.
Buck was honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987 when he received the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting. In 1996, the Pro Football Hall of Fame honored Buck with the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.
Jack Buck was a voice for several generations of Cardinals fans. Younger fans can be introduced to Buck’s life through archived clips or through his memoir, Jack Buck: That’s a Winner! reprinted this past May.