In the full-stop Oh my! moment of his life, Dick Enberg leaves a wealth of memories for colleagues and fans of many sports. He passedon Wednesday, potentially due to a heart attack, at the age of 82.
His wife, Barbara, was waiting for him at the Boston airport but he would never get on the plane. He was, it's been reported, waiting for a car to take him to an airport on the other side of the country. Bags packed, ready to go.
Coverage of Wimbledons, US Opens, French Opens and Olympiads aplenty catalyzed a decorated career.
"I've never really been comfortable with that," he toldSports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim in an October 2016 podcast. "I've never been more important than the game. I'm just there to complement the game. ... I've been fortune, as you are, to sit next to the greatest players in that sport, and not just tennis but all the sports."
In that same interview, Enberg described his full retirement from broadcasting as "the first day of the rest of my life." He was working on a book at that time, with a desire to visit his daughter's family – including his sole grandchild – where they lived in Rwanda. Enberg remarked that he "liked being in new places ... and being on an airplane. I get a lot of good thinking time."
In light of the news, tennis stars–turned-commentators, many of whom have rubbed athletic elbows with Enberg in the broadcast booth, poured out their thoughts and hearts on social media. Among them: Chris Evert, who just turned 63 years young; Pam Shriver, who recently feted Enberg with an award presentation; and Billie Jean King.