He called all three of Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup championships in 2009, ’16 and ’17, along with the most magical moments of Sidney Crosby‘s career, like his Golden Goal at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
In addition to that, Emrick has a number of neat ties to the city of Pittsburgh. He began his career covering the Penguins in the 1970-71 season as a freelance reporter with the Beaver County Times while teaching at Geneva College, and of course, has been a passionate Pirates fan ever since he was a kid.
So after Emrick, 74, announced his retirement last month following a magnificent 50-year career, he received a number of messages from members of the Penguins organization. Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang all sent texts, with Mike Sullivan even writing a short letter that he mailed to Emrick’s home in Michigan.
“He’s just had such a huge impact on the game,” Sullivan said. “As I said to him when I wrote him a short note, I can only share my personal experience, but Doc is part of the greatest moments of my professional career in witnessing an experience in the Stanley Cup runs, and Doc is the voice of those experiences.
“And you know, he carries himself with such dignity and grace with how he interacts with coaches and players, and he has such a way above him to articulate the game in such a unique way. We’re all going to miss him. We’re all going to miss him around the rinks. He’s a pleasant person. And he’s had such a positive influence on the game.”
PittsburghPenguins.com took a trip down memory lane with Emrick to talk about his iconic career and those stops he made in the City of Champions along the way.
Emrick’s first connection with Pittsburgh actually came when he was a kid growing up in LaFontaine, Indiana in the 1950s.
Although basketball has always been the most popular sport in that state, Emrick actually spent his childhood as a big baseball fan – with the Pittsburgh Pirates being his beloved team. That was all thanks to KDKA’s powerful radio signal, as Emrick was able to listen to Bob Prince call games on a nightly basis in the summer months.
In his book Off Mike: How a Kid from Basketball-Crazy Indiana Became America’s NHL Voice (released the day after announcing his retirement!), Emrick describes how Prince and color analyst Jim Woods made baseball seem like a sport of wonder and romance, which got him hooked. That love was only intensified when the Pirates won the 1960 World Series thanks to Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off home run in Game 7 against the New York Yankees.
All these years later, Emrick is still a loyal Pirates fan and has season