Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. issued the following statement today regarding the passing of former player and long-time broadcaster Joe Garagiola, who was 90:
"All of us at Major League Baseball are deeply saddened by the loss of Joe Garagiola. Joe began illustrious career as a baseball player, but it wasn't long before everyone knew that this unique individual would combine his multi-talented media skills and wonderful personality to make a mark off the field as well. Following his nine-year playing career, which included a 1946 World Series Championship with the St. Louis Cardinals, Joe became a broadcasting icon during his 58 years behind the microphone. The winner of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award in 1991 and Buck O'Neill Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, Joe narrated countless memorable moments, including Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle's 500th career home run, as well as three All-Star Games and three World Series during the 1980s, working alongside fellow broadcast legend Vin Scully.
"With all of Joe's professional successes, it was behind the scenes where Joe has had an equally impressive impact. For his work with kids, Joe was named the 1998 recipient of the Children's MVP Award presented by the Jim Eisenreich Foundation. He served baseball as a leader in the fight against smokeless tobacco, working with NSTEP - the National Spit Tobacco Education Program - and traveling to each Major League camp during Spring Training to educate players about the dangers of tobacco and oral cancer. He was also a tireless supporter and longtime champion for the Baseball Assistance Team, which helps members of the baseball family who are in need.
"Joe's love of the game was always on display, and his knowledge and insight is something that I truly admired. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Joe's wife Audrey, their son, MLB Senior Vice President long-time baseball executive Joe Jr., as well as son Steve, daughter Gina, and their entire family, as well as his countless friends and admirers throughout our game."