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Garagiola retires as broadcaster

The SportsXchange

Longtime Arizona Diamondbacks broadcaster Joe Garagiola ended his Hall-of-Fame career Wednesday after 57 years in the booth.

He had surgery in 2009 to remove a brain tumor, but said his health wasn't a factor in his decision to leave. He simply wanted to spend more time with his wife of 63 years, Audrey.

"I've often said it's the best catch I ever made," Garagiola said of his wife. "The wife is the one who really makes it for you. She's the one who took care of the kids. I was the guy that was on the plane flying here, there, everywhere, coming home and telling her about it, and she'd just smile and say, 'That's great.'"

During a press conference, the 87-year-old Garagiola showed the trademark humor that sent him to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a broadcaster, and shared stories from a career that spanned nearly six decades.

On having recently moved into a retirement community, Garagiola quipped, "You know what the most famous word in our place is? Huh?"

He also related an exchange he once had with Hall-of-Famer Stan Musial, who came to the plate while Garagiola was catching for the New York Giants in 1954.

"This was the fourth team I was traded to when there was only eight in the league and that told me that I was either wanted, or modeling uniforms," Garagiola said. "I didn't know which. And the great Stan Musial comes up to hit, and apparently he didn't see the papers, so he taps the plate and he looks at me, and he backs out and says, 'What the heck are you doing there?' I said, 'I just got traded, Stan.' He said, 'You did, when?' I said, 'This morning.' He kind of looked stunned, and he said, 'Why don't you quit?' You know what I said to him? I said, 'Now?'"

That time has apparently come.
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