The Full Wiki

More info on Merle Harmon

Merle Harmon: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Merle Reid Harmon (June 21, 1926 – April 15, 2009) was an Americanmarker sportscaster.

Early life and career

Born and raised in Salem, Illinoismarker, Harmon served with the United States Navy in the Pacific during World War II. After the conflict ended, he attended Graceland College on the G.I. Bill, earning an Associate of Arts degree in 1947. He graduated from the University of Denvermarker with a Bachelor of Arts degree in radio & television broadcasting and marketing in 1949. He began his broadcasting career later that same year with the Topekamarker Owls, a minor league baseball team in the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League.

Broadcasting career


For two years beginning in 1953, Harmon broadcast University of Kansasmarker football and basketball games as the first-ever voice of the KU Radio Network. In 1954, he called baseball for the Kansas City Blues of the American Association, moving to the major league Kansas City Athletics the following year after that franchise's relocation from Philadelphiamarker. He replaced By Saam, who returned to being the Phillies' main voice. Harmon first did Athletics play-by-play on KMBC-AMmarker with Larry Ray (1955–56) and Ed Edwards (1957–58), then later on WDAF radiomarker and televisionmarker with Bill Grigsby (1959–61). He was fired after the 1961 season by Charlie Finley, who had purchased the ballclub the previous year, for refusing to participate in a campaign intended to spite the sports editor of the Kansas City Starmarker.


Harmon's first experience on national television came in 1961 when he was hired by ABC Sports to anchor various studio shows and call college football games. He, along with Chris Schenkel and Keith Jackson, were the play-by-play announcers for the network's baseball Game of the Week in 1965. His broadcast partner was Jackie Robinson.

He became the primary broadcaster for the Milwaukee Braves in 1964, succeeding Earl Gillespie who resigned to become the sports director at WITI-TVmarker. After two years working alongside Tom Collins (1964) and Blaine Walsh (1964–65) on WEMP-AM, Harmon was not retained by the Braves, which moved to Atlantamarker and selected Milo Hamilton, a voice more recognized in the new market, instead.

Harmon joined Herb Carneal and Halsey Hall for Minnesota Twins broadcasts on WCCO-AMmarker and WTCN-TVmarker from 1967 to 1969. He had replaced Ray Scott, who was designated the lead National Football League announcer on CBS

Harmon also lent his talents to professional football, reteaming with Grigsby to call Kansas City Chiefs games in 1963, its first season after moving from Dallasmarker. He became the voice of the New York Jets for the next nine years, first on WABC-AMmarker (1964–70), then on WOR-AMmarker (1971–72). His broadcast partners were Otto Graham (1964–65), Dick Young (1966–67) and Sam DeLuca (1968–1972). The highlight of Harmon's time with the Jets was the team's run to the Super Bowl Championship in 1968, which included the Heidi Game and victories over the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Colts in the American Football League Championship Game and Super Bowl III respectively.


In 1970, Harmon became lead announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers and continued in that role through the remainder of the decade, teaming with Bob Uecker. He also went into business during this period with Merle Harmon's Fan Fair, a chain of retail stores devoted to licensed sports merchandise.

Harmon was also the play-by-play voice for the World Football League's Thursday night Game of the Week telecasts on TVS in 1974, the circuit's only complete season. He was joined in the broadcast booth by regular game analyst Alex Hawkins and various guest commentators, who included George Plimpton, Burt Reynolds and McLean Stevenson.

1980s and beyond

From 1980-1982, Harmon worked for NBC Sports, calling regional NFL, MLB, and college basketball action and contributing to the weekly Sportsworld anthology series. He was also slated to work on the network's coverage of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscowmarker, before the U.S. boycott of those Games. In 1988, Harmon returned to call several September NFL telecasts for NBC while the network's regular announcers were working that year's Summer Olympics in Seoulmarker.

Prior to his retirement from broadcasting, Harmon worked on Texas Rangers telecasts, first on KXAS-TVmarker (1982–1984), then on Home Sports Entertainment (1984–1989). During his eight seasons with the Rangers, he worked alongside Steve Busby (1982–85), Mark Holtz (1984), Norm Hitzges (1986–89), Bob Carpenter (1986–88) and Greg Lucas (1989).

Harmon made a cinematic appearance, playing one of the two NCAA Finals announcers in the 2006 feature film Glory Road.


  2. Meline, Randy. "Gracelander Merle Harmon Passes Away at Age 82; he was a Sports Broadcasting Legend," Graceland University, Thursday, April 16, 2009.
  3. Merle Harmon (1988 inductee) – Graceland University Athletics Hall of Fame.
  4. "Announcer Harmon used to call KU football, basketball," Lawrence (KS) Journal-World, Friday, April 17, 2009.
  5. 1955 Baseball Broadcasters & Networks – BaseballChronology.
  6. 1956 Baseball Broadcasters & Networks – BaseballChronology.
  7. 1957 Baseball Broadcasters & Networks – BaseballChronology.
  8. 1958 Baseball Broadcasters & Networks – BaseballChronology.
  9. 1959 Baseball Broadcasters & Networks – BaseballChronology.
  10. 1960 Baseball Broadcasters & Networks – BaseballChronology.
  11. 1961 Baseball Broadcasters & Networks – BaseballChronology.
  12. Smith, Curt. Voices of the Game. 2nd ed. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.
  13. 1964 Baseball Broadcasters & Networks – BaseballChronology.
  14. 1965 Baseball Broadcasters & Networks – BaseballChronology.
  15. Benjamin, Scott. "Profile of Merle Harmon," Musicradio 77 WABC.
  16. WFL on TVS – World Football League.
  17. Andro, Anthony. "Broadcasting giant Merle Harmon, 82, dies," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Thursday, April 16, 2009.
  18. Full cast and crew for Glory Road (2006) – The Internet Movie Database.

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address