Earl Gillespie, the radio voice of the Milwaukee Braves in the 1950s, died on Dec. 12 from respiratory failure. He was 81.
A minor league baseball player for the Green Bay Blue Jays in the early 1940s, Gillespie decided to become a sports broadcaster while serving as a fighter pilot during World War II. His re-creations of the Packers-Bears games were so entertaining, the soldiers filled the barracks with their cheers.
When the Braves moved to Milwaukee in 1953, he was hired to call the games. For the next 11 years, thousands tuned in to WTMJ 620AM to hear Gillespie exclaim “Holy Cow!” every time one of the Braves hit a home run or made a big play. From 1963 to 1985, he did commentary on WITI-TV Channel 6 in Milwaukee, and broadcast the play-by-play action for the Green Bay Packers, Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin.
He received the “Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year Award” eight times, and was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.