CHICAGO -- Joe McConnell, the talented and versatile broadcaster who called White Sox games from 1980-84, died on Sunday morning in Indianapolis, Ind. He was 79. The club announced his passing prior to Sunday's game against the Tigers.McConnell was the radio voice of the 1983 American League West champion White
CHICAGO -- Joe McConnell, the talented and versatile broadcaster who called White Sox games from 1980-84, died on Sunday morning in Indianapolis, Ind. He was 79. The club announced his passing prior to Sunday's game against the Tigers.
McConnell was the radio voice of the 1983 American League West champion White Sox. He teamed with Harry Caray, Jimmy Piersall and Rich King on WBBM-AM coverage from 1980-81, and from 1982-84, McConnell worked with Early Wynn and Lorn Brown on WMAQ-AM.
McConnell's iconic career included 23 seasons in the National Football League as the voice of the Denver Broncos (1969), Minnesota Vikings (1971-76 and 1985-87), Chicago Bears (1977-84), Indianapolis Colts (1992-94) and Tennessee Oilers (1997-98), seven seasons in the National Basketball Association as the voice of the Phoenix Suns (1970-72) and Indiana Pacers (1972-77), and seven seasons in Major League Baseball as the voice of the Twins (1978-79) and White Sox.
From 1991-95, McConnell also served as the lead voice for the NBA Radio Network. He broadcast three Super Bowls, the NBA and American Basketball Association championships, the NBA All-Star Game and the American League Championship Series. Additionally, McConnell broadcast Northwestern football (1988) and Indiana State (1978-79), DePaul (1984-88), Illinois (1987-88), Notre Dame (1987-88) and Northwestern (1989-94) men's basketball. McConnell was with the Sycamores during their run with Larry Bird to the NCAA title game.
Most recently, McConnell served for 15 seasons as play-by-play announcer for Purdue football, from 1995-2009. He has been honored with the AP/UPI Play-by-Play Sportscaster of the Year Award five times and was the Indiana Sportscaster of the Year in 2000, and the Illinois Sportscaster of the Year in 1981.
In 2006, he received a nomination for the National Football Foundation's Chris Schenkel Award, presented to a college football broadcaster. Upon his retirement, at halftime of his final broadcast of the game between Purdue and Indiana University on November 21, 2009, he was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest award that the Indiana governor can bestow, presented by Governor Mitch Daniels.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.