News 12 Long Island recently announced that award-winning sportscaster Bob Wolff has been recognized by Guinness World Records for having the “longest career as a sportscaster and broadcaster.” Currently enjoying his 75th year in broadcasting, with more than 68 of those in television, Wolff is still going strong. Guinness World Records presented Wolff with the 75 year certificate at the New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden this past Wednesday.
Wolff began his professional career in 1939 working for WDNC-CBS while a freshman at Duke University in Durham, NC. He became a sports television pioneer in 1946 when he joined DuMont Network’s WTTG-TV as the first telecaster in Washington, D.C. He was also the first basketball team telecaster in history, calling play-by-play for the Red Auerbach-coached Washington Capitols in their inaugural 1946-1947 season.
Beginning in 1954, he began a remarkable 36-year television run as MSG play-by-play broadcaster where he held the record for telecasting more MSG events than any other sportscaster, including long-running tenures as the TV voice of the New York Knicks, the Rangers, numerous college basketball teams, the National Invitation Tournament, the Millrose Games, Virginia Slims Tennis, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the National Horse Show. He’s also been the national play-by-play voice for NBC, ABC and the Mutual Broadcasting System’s “Game of the Week” in baseball and college football, and the local television play caller for eight pro teams in five sports. On the college scene, he was a popular play caller for Maryland, Navy and St. John’s.
Wolff has been behind the microphone for many sporting firsts. In 1956, he was selected to cover Mutual Broadcasting System’s broadcast of the 1956 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. He had a sportscasting first in Game 5 when he called Don Larsen’s perfect game – the only one in World Series history. He also called the Baltimore Colts 1958 victory over the New York Giants at Yankee Stadium in the first overtime NFL Championship that has been called “the greatest game ever played.” And in 1960, Wolff teamed with Canadian TV hockey great Foster Hewitt to call television’s first-ever pay-per-view game, Toronto against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. In 1961, Wolff followed the Senators to Minnesota to become the play-by-play voice of the Minnesota Twins and in 1962, he was selected to be the play-by-play telecaster on NBC’s Baseball Game of the Week. Wolff joined News 12 Long Island when it launched in 1986 and continues to serve as an active sportscaster with the network.
A New York native, Wolff resides in Rockland County, NY, with his wife Jane. They have two sons and a daughter. The “Wolffpack” now includes nine grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.