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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Rory Markas Passes Away

In his Palmdale home; of unknown causes. He was 54. Funeral services are pending. It's no secret that Rory was the best of the Angels' broadcasters, and not by a little; it's not a surprise that the most stirring moments in the 2002 World Series win had his calls running underneath them. Halo games just won't be the same without him. I'm thunderstruck.

Update: The Times' Fabulous Forum reminds us that Markas had a blood clot in his brain on November 1, 2008. You've just gotta wonder if that wasn't the proximate cause of his death. As Vinny says, if you want to make God smile, tell Him your plans.

Update, 1/6: Oh Lord, I've misspelled his name in the mast and elsewhere here. Fixed, too.

Also, Jon points to a Daily News piece by Tom Hoffarth about Vinny remembering Rory:

[At] the Golden Mike ceremony [where Markas introduced Scully] two years ago, Scully said he remembered that Markas was "more than generous and I was very touched. It was so typical of him to be so warm and giving. That's the way I'll always think of him."

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Rob, this is awful news. Rory really had a spark, something which lets you know that he's smart, that he's always thinking, and that he's confident enough to push the envelope a little, to venture off script. You very rarely see that in a broadcaster. Daron Sutton had it, but I don't recall too many others. Physioc and Hudler certainly don't, and Terry Smith wouldn't recognize it if he tripped over it in the street. So this throws the Angels broadcasting plans for 2010 up in the air, and there don't seem to be too many good choices.

Very sad day. Condolences to his family.


PS: According to the story, Palmdale, not Palm Springs. I don't know which is correct.
Corrected above. My bad.
Markas rightly had the confidence of the whole organization, which is why he was set to helm all the national TV broadcasts this season -- something I was really looking forward to. This is terrible news.
I concur with all, except that I think highly of Terry as well -- though he was only really good when he broadcast with Rory. (Likewise, I thought Rory was at his best with Terry.) Really a shame.
Ivan -- I also like Terry, but don't think he's quite the same caliber as Rory. I hope and trust the Angels will mount a national search for a new radio broadcaster, at least; there are some qualified ones at the minor league level, but after the Dodgers' experiment with the bland Eric Collins, I'm less enthusiastic about that approach.
There were times when listening to Rory (and Terry Smith) on the radio at Angel home games was as enjoyable as watching any individual player. They were a huge part of the great experiences I've had at the Big A since they came on board in 2002.

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