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Gayle Gardner (born ca. 1950) is an American sportscaster who has worked for ESPN and NBC Sports beginning in 1987 until 1993.

Contents

Biography

Gardner got her first job as a sportscaster because she hired herself. She got her second job as a sportscaster because a guy died. "It was not because everybody was sitting around saying, 'We've got to get this woman on air,' " she says.[1]

She did not come by her love of sports in any explicable way. "Reincarnation?" she suggests, shrugging. She grew up in Brooklyn, the daughter of a liquor salesman and a housewife, and she led a double life: She cut out paper dolls while watching Y.A. Tittle quarterback the New York Giants. "It was this closet thing, this other interest I didn't tell anyone about," Gardner says.

She has held just about every job in the business, both in front of and behind the camera, having started as a talk show and documentary producer in Boston and then having worked in New York City, Detroit and Baltimore, where she got the daily sports anchor job on WJZ-TV in 1983 when her predecessor, Randy Blair, died of a heart attack. ESPN called in 1983, NBC Sports in 1987.

ESPN

After being aired hired by ESPN in 1983, Gardner served as a SportsCenter anchor for three years (always wearing her signature bright red lipstick).

In 2004 (to celebrate the 25th anniversary of SportsCenter), Gardner returned to anchor a special "old school" edition of SportsCenter alongside Stuart Scott.

NBC Sports

As previously mentioned, Gardner worked for NBC from 1987-1993. Among the assignments that she undertook included anchoring NBC's New Year's Day college football bowl game coverage, NFL Live! (Gardner joined the show alongside Bob Costas and Ahmad Rashad in 1988), Major League Baseball: An Inside Look[2] (Gardner by the way, was on hand at Toronto's SkyDome to host the pregame coverage of NBC's final edition of the Major League Baseball Game of the Week (Blue Jays-Orioles) on September 30, 1989), NBC's 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics[3] coverage, NBC's tennis coverage (i.e. the French Open[4] and Wimbeldon), and NBC's "Prudential Sports Updates".

Other notable assignments

On August 3, 1993, Gardner became the first woman to do televised play-by-play of a baseball game when she called the action of a game between the Colorado Rockies and the Cincinnati Reds.[5]

Gardner later worked on the Food Network before writing a screenplay. She spent three years on the Food Network. Then a series of misfortunes struck.[6]

Personal life

Her lower lip was nearly severed when a taxi in which she was riding was involved in an accident and she was thrown against a partition between the driver's compartment and the passenger's.

Then she had a fall in which she suffered a torn rotator cuff. In still another incident, she developed internal bleeding that required four operations.

Altogether, she has been unable to work for many years. Gardner says, "It's grimmer than I'm telling you," she said. "I was a wreck."

She says she has been encouraged by NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol telling her she will be considered for a future Olympics assignment. "For a person who needs to get back into the job market, this SportsCenter role is a good thing," she said. "I'm rusty, but I hope something comes of it."

Awards and honors

She has won 4 Sports Emmy Awards for her work as a sportscaster.[7]

References

External links








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