George Grande, play-by-play man for the Cincinnati Reds on television for the last 17 years, announced today that he is retiring, in the process opting out of the last year of his contract with Fox Sports Ohio.
Grande announced it now to give the Reds and FSO time to find his replacement, says the Enquirer. Grande said he hopes that FSO stays in-house, naming Dan Hoard (who himself has WXIX-TV 19/Newport to his credit) or Jim Kelch (currently the radio voice for the Louisville River Bats) as possible replacements.
Grande says he wants to spend more time with his family, who live in Connecticut.
He has history in television sports and broadcasting in general spanning back over 45 years.
Going back about 36 years, his first TV experience was on local ABC affiliate WTNH-TV 8/New Haven, CT. He then moved to New York City, where he has WCBS-TV 2/NYC to his credit for a short stint as weekend sports anchor.
After New York, Grande was on the very first edition of ESPN's Sportscenter and remained with the network until 1988.
Thirteen years after that, he would begin broadcasts for the Cincinnati Reds for FSO, after brief stints with the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals.
Before all of that, Grande had stations in Los Angeles, Rhode Island and Connecticut on his resume on the radio side of broadcasting.
Grande has been the MC for the annual Baseball Hall of Fame Ceremony in Cooperstown, NY since 1980, and will continue with those responsibilities most likely even after this year.
By the way, Hal McCoy also retires later this month from the Dayton Daily News, after 37 years with that publication covering the Reds.
We here at TSMW wish Grande and McCoy both nothing but the best and happy retirements...