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Whoo boy, it's Brickhouse's 100th birthday

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- He was the voice of the Cubs for generations of fans, and his trademark "Hey-hey!" is part of Wrigley Field's history, emblazoned on the foul poles. Sunday would've been Jack Brickhouse's 100th birthday.

Brickhouse handled the play-by-play coverage of the Cubs games on WGN-TV from 1948-81, and received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. In his acceptance speech in Cooperstown, Brickhouse said he felt "like a man who is 60 feet, 6 inches tall."

CHICAGO -- He was the voice of the Cubs for generations of fans, and his trademark "Hey-hey!" is part of Wrigley Field's history, emblazoned on the foul poles. Sunday would've been Jack Brickhouse's 100th birthday.

Brickhouse handled the play-by-play coverage of the Cubs games on WGN-TV from 1948-81, and received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. In his acceptance speech in Cooperstown, Brickhouse said he felt "like a man who is 60 feet, 6 inches tall."

Brickhouse, who also broadcast Chicago Bears and White Sox games, was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 1985.

Current Cubs television play-by-play broadcaster Len Kasper acknowledged Brickhouse's birthday on Twitter: "Happy 100th this wknd to the man who started it all on WGN: Jack Brickhouse, b. Jan. 24, 1916. Jack passed away in 1998 but with us in spirit."

Although the Cubs never made it to the World Series, Brickhouse covered World Series games for NBC television. His voice is on the audio track of the famous Willie Mays catch in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series game at the Polo Grounds.

Video: BB Moments: '54 WS, Gm 1: Willie Mays' Amazing Catch

"He was a remarkable human being," Jack Rosenberg, longtime sports editor at WGN Radio and TV, said in the book, "A Century of Wrigley Field: The Official History of the Friendly Confines."

"It didn't matter whether it was the first inning or the eighth," Rosenberg said, "the enthusiasm was always the same."

WGN Radio's Pat Hughes paid tribute to both Brickhouse and Cubs legendary broadcaster Harry Caray in a home run call in 1998 when Sammy Sosa connected on his 65th blast that season. Hughes' call: "Deep drive to center, all the way back, and gone! Number 65! Holy cow and hey-hey for Harry and Jack!"

Hughes told Chicago Magazine that it was his way of connecting with the two broadcast legends. Caray had died earlier that year.

"A tip of the cap, saying, 'I loved you guys and I know you would have loved this, and here's a moment for you,'" Hughes said.

Brickhouse, who started his broadcast career calling Bradley University basketball games at the age of 18, was behind the microphone for more than 5,000 baseball games in his career, including May 12, 1970, when Ernie Banks hit his 500th home run off Atlanta's Pat Jarvis.

"Jarvis fires away," Brickhouse starts. "That's a fly ball, deep to left, back, back -- that's it, that's it. Hey-hey! He did it. Ernie Banks got No. 500."

Other Brickhouse sayings included "Whoo boy," "For just a hot minute there" and "Oh, brother."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

 

Chicago Cubs