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Frederick Michael Cusick (November 7, 1918 - September 15, 2009) was an American former ice hockey broadcaster and served as the Boston Bruins play-by-play TV broadcaster from 1971 till 1997 on WSBK-TV (Channel 38) in Boston, and from 1984 until 1995 on NESN. Counting his radio broadcasts, he was a Bruins' announcer for an unprecedented 45 years, and was an active sports announcer for over seven decades. He is best known for yelling "SCORE!" when a Boston player scored a goal.

Contents

Biography

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Early life and career

Fred Cusick was born in the Brighton section of Boston. A graduate of (and former hockey player at) Northeastern University in Boston, Cusick began broadcasting sports at WCOP in Boston in 1941 while a senior at Northeastern, crediting his hockey background as the entree to the position. [1] He subsequently went into the United States Navy in World War II, rising to lieutenant in command of a subchaser. After the war, he worked for several radio stations, hosting the popular Irish Hour on WVOM in Brookline, which focused on sports, especially hockey. After a brief time in Washington during the Korean War [2] and upon the retirement of Bruins' radio broadcaster Frank Ryan, Cusick - paired with ex-Bruin Jack Crawford - became the radio play-by-play broadcaster of the Bruins from 1952 to 1970, during which time he was also Sports Director for WEEI radio in Boston.[3]

Cusick was the announcer for the first US network NHL broadcast (CBS-TV in January 1957); he would spend four years in all working the NHL Game of the Week for CBS.[4]

1960s-1970s

Fred Cusick was the color commentator on WEEI for the very first game of the fledgling American Football League, a Friday night contest between the Denver Broncos and the Boston Patriots on September 9, 1960, at Nickerson Field on the campus of Boston University. He served as the color man for Patriots radio between 1960 and 1964. He also had a notable interview with golfing legend Francis Ouimet in 1963, the fiftieth anniversary of Ouimet's 1913 U.S. Open victory, the only video interview of Ouimet in existence. [5]

In the early 1960s, Cusick was responsible for getting Boston Bruins' games on local television on a regular basis. Beginning in the 1963/1964 season, he edited tapes of Saturday night Bruins games which would be seen on Sunday, first on WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire (the signal of which covered most of the Boston area), then on the old WHDH-TV (now WCVB-TV) in Boston. Within a few years, games would be shown live on WKBG and later began a long run at WSBK.

From 1969 through 1971, Cusick was the radio voice of the Boston Bruins on WBZ-AM 1030 (Bob Wilson replaced him on WBZ-AM starting in 1972) when they reached the pinnacle of their popularity, winning their first Stanley Cup in 29 years in 1970, and setting a regular-season record for points and goals scored in 1970–71. His broadcasting partners were former NHL players Johnny Peirson in 1969–70 and Cal Gardner in 1970–71.

In 1971, Cusick returned to television, succeeding Don Earle, who had been hired by WSBK when they began covering the Boston Bruins, as play-by-play man for Bruins' games on WSBK with Peirson as his color man; when NESN was formed in 1984, he did double duty for a few years, calling games for both channels. In his last years before he retired from broadcasting the Bruins, Cusick did games only for WSBK.

1980s-1990s

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the first wave of media honorees in 1984, and in that year was also named the first winner of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award (along with Danny Gallivan, Rene Lecavalier and Hewitt himself), "in recognition of members of the radio and television industry who made outstanding contributions to their profession and the game during their career in hockey broadcasting." He has also won the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1988 for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.

It was Cusick who did the television play-by-play of the last Bruins' game at the old Boston Garden (a pre-season game against Montreal in 1995) and the first Bruins' game in the Fleet Center, the 1995–96 season-opener against the New York Islanders.

2000s

After retiring from the Bruins' broadcasts in 1997, he began broadcasting home games for the AHL Lowell Lock Monsters with former Bruin Brad Park as his partner. He retired for good as a hockey sportscaster after the 2002 season at the age of 83.

In 2007, he returned to the broadcast booth as the Cape Cod Baseball League game of the week play-by-play announcer on WBZ (AM) Radio.

His autobiography, Fred Cusick: Voice of the Bruins (ISBN 1–58261–981–6), was published in October 2006.

Death

Fred Cusick died in his sleep on September 15, 2009 at his home in Barnstable, Massachusetts from complications from bladder cancer. The following day he was posthumously inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.[6]

References

External links


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