[10/05/04 - 12:00 AM]
Sportscaster Al Michaels to Be Honored with Star on the Walk of Fame

[via press release from ABC]


Sportscaster Al Michaels will be honored with the 2,266th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star will be unveiled on Wednesday, October 13, at 11:30 a.m. in front of the historic Musso and Frank Grill, 6233 Hollywood Boulevard. Johnny Grant, Honorary Mayor of Hollywood and Chairman of the Walk of Fame Committee, will preside over the event and Leron Gubler, President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, will speak on behalf of the organization.

Al Michaels, one of television's most respected journalists, has appeared on live, primetime, over-the-air television more than anyone in the history of the medium. The approximate total number of hours is now approaching 2,000.

Michaels', who joined ABC Sports in 1976, has accumulated more than 1,000 of those hours as the play-by-play announcer during his 18 years on "Monday Night Football." In addition, he has logged many more primetime hours during ABC Sports' coverage of the NBA, Olympics, Major League Baseball and several other assignments.

He has been widely acclaimed for his knowledgeable and insightful reporting as play-by-play announcer for ABC's NFL "Monday Night Football," the most successful sports series in television history. He has been the play-by-play announcer on MNF since 1986. Michaels has broadcast five Super Bowls for ABC Sports; XXII, XXV, XXIX, XXXIV and XXXVII.

Michaels recently completed his first season as the play-by-play voice of the NBA on ABC. When he called the NBA Finals in June, he became the first person to either call the play-by-play for or host the four major sports championships (NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, Super Bowl, World Series) on national television.

Also regarded as one of the best baseball announcers of all time, Michaels was ABC's lead baseball play-by-play announcer during the network's coverage of Major League Baseball. He announced the 1979, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989 and 1995 World Series; 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1995 All-Star Games; and the 1976-78-80-82-84-86-88-95 League Championship Series. He was also the play-by-play announcer during ABC Sports' coverage of the 1995 Divisional Playoffs and, as the voice of the Cincinnati Reds, was part of the broadcast team to call the 1972 World Series on NBC.

He did play-by-play during ABC Sports' coverage of the Stanley Cup playoffs in 1993, and was the primary host for the network's Stanley Cup Finals coverage in 2000, 2001 and 2002. In addition, he was the host of ABC's coverage of the Indianapolis "500" in 1999, 2000 and 2001. He has also covered 43 Triple Crown races, including 15 Kentucky Derbys, 14 Preakness Stakes and 14 Belmonts.

Michaels has earned many accolades. He has captured four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sports Personality -- Play-by-play (Host) (1986, 1989,1995 and 2000), and has received the NSSA Award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association three times (1980, 1983 and 1986). He was inducted into the NSSA Hall of Fame in 1998, was named Sportscaster of the Year in 1996 by the American Sportscasters Association, and, in 1991, was named Sportscaster of the Year by the Washington Journalism Review.

Michaels has received wide general praise as a journalist, and became just the second sportscaster in history to receive a News Emmy nomination for his coverage of the San Francisco earthquake during the 1989 World Series.

He garnered his first Sportscaster of the Year award in 1980. This was the year he made his memorable call of the U.S.A. hockey team's successfully quest for the gold medal in the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. "Do You Believe in Miracles" is widely recognized as the most dramatic and memorable call in the history of sports television. His reputation for Olympic acumen grew with his coverage of figure skating and hockey at the 1984 Winter Games in Sarajevo, and all track and field (including Carl Lewis' four gold-medal peformance), in addition to road cycling, at the Summer Games in Los Angeles. He also covered hockey during ABC's 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics coverage. In all, he has covered five Olympic Games.

Born in Brooklyn, Michaels grew up as a Dodger fan. When the Dodgers left New York, coincidentally his family did too, and settled in Los Angeles. A baseball and football player at L.A.'s Hamilton High School, he decided before college that he would like to remain in sports as a broadcaster. He majored in radio and television and minored in journalism at Arizona State University.

He began broadcasting games of the Hawaii Islanders in the Pacific Coast League in 1968 and also was the football and basketball voice of the University of Hawaii Rainbows. Additionally, he announced dozens of high school football and basketball games and hosted three television sports shows daily.

Michaels' minor league baseball broadcasting career did not last long. He went to Cincinnati in 1971 when, at 26 years of age, he became the No. 1 broadcaster for the Reds. In 1974 he became the voice of the San Francisco Giants on KSFO Radio and KTVU-TV, a position he held until signing on with ABC Sports full-time in January of 1977.

Michaels has been honored as Sportscaster of the Year in both Ohio and Hawaii. For two seasons (1973 through 1975) he was the TV play-by-play announcer for UCLA basketball, and for four years (1972-76) he announced basketball for TVS, handling a variety of Pacific Eight Conference and ECAC games.

  [october 2004]  


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