Born in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1935, Kubek won three World Series as a shortstop with the New York Yankees between 1957 and 1965 before becoming a popular broadcaster for NBC. He spent 25 seasons behind the mike for the network and called 11 World Series and 10 All-Star games, as well as the Saturday afternoon “Game of the Week.” Along the way, he teamed with legendary play-by-play men like Jim Simpson, Curt Gowdy and Bob Costas.
The Toronto Blue Jays were fortunate to land Kubek as an analyst on their TV broadcasts in 1977 and during his 13 seasons in the booth for the club, he educated tens of thousands of Canadian viewers on CTV and TSN about the sport. On top of the insights he could provide as a former player, Kubek’s no-nonsense style and quick and extensive analysis made him one of the best and most respected analysts of his era. While with the Blue Jays, aside from his analysis, he was one of the first broadcasters to ask to communicate with the director in the production truck to suggest camera shots during the game that would improve the broadcast.
For his efforts, Kubek was the first broadcaster to work exclusively as a TV analyst to win the National Baseball of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence in 2009. He was also the first Ford C. Frick Award winner to have called games for a Canadian team. Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductees Tom Cheek (2013) and Dave Van Horne (2014) have also since been honoured.
After he left the Blue Jays, Kubek served as an analyst on New York Yankees games on the MSG Network for five seasons, prior to retiring in 1994.
“Overwhelmed, in a positive sense,” said Kubek when asked about how he felt about his induction in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. “Unexpected, because I was doing exactly what I’ve loved doing for much of my life, playing, watching and talking baseball. I had flashbacks of watching a young team being transformed into a winner. I’m grateful for being accepted by Canadian baseball fans, and for this wonderful honor. When I was asked to consider the job with the Blue Jays, I talked to Elston Howard, a teammate and great Yankee, who starred with the Triple-A, International League Toronto Maple Leafs. He said, ‘You gotta take it, they’re the best fans, a friendly city; they know their baseball.’ Ellie was right.”
CAREER MAJOR LEAGUE STATISTICS
For season by season career stats click HERE.