Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturtainment: Greatest Sports Legends (1972)

In the 70's, local stations filled Saturday afternoons with syndicated programming when the networks didn't have any sports programming. Shoot, even PBS got in on the act with The Way It Was, hosted by veteran announcer Curt Gowdy. Have to remember to post that sometime.

One of the most enduring series to come from this period was Greatest Sports Legends, which was meant to be to sports what David Wolper's original Biography was to news figures in general. The difference was, producer Berl Rotfeld chose certain athletes, some retired, like Paul Hornung, the former Notre Dame & Green Bay Packers star, others active at the time or soon to retire, like Tom Seaver, to serve as hosts. Jayne Kennedy (The NFL Today) might've been the only non-athlete as host. Unfortunately, Wikipedia's entry on the series is badly in need of completion, as it doesn't have all the episodes listed. I do remember sitting at home on many a Saturday watching and learning.

Steve Rotfeld, Berl's son, is marketing and continuing to produce the series for the home video market, trying to get it back on the air in some form, especially considering the series marked its 40th anniversary last year. Rotfeld has a YouTube channel, from whence we get this teaser clip of an episode focusing on Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams. Seaver was the host for this particular show when it initially aired.

It does sound like the late Harry Kalas narrating the highlight clip, doesn't it?

Rating: A.

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