Martin "Marty" Glickman (August 14, 1917 – January 3, 2001) was a Jewish American track and field athlete and sports announcer, born in The Bronx, New York. His parents, Harry and Molly Glickmann, migrated to the United States from Jassy in Romania.
Track career spoiled by anti-Semitism at the Berlin Olympics
Glickman was an 18-year-old member of the U.S. team in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, as a sprinter. He had been a track star and football standout at James Madison High School in Brooklyn and at Syracuse University. Glickman traveled to Germany and spent two weeks practicing as part of the 400-meter relay team. However, the day before they were scheduled to compete, Glickman and the only other Jew on the U.S. Olympic team that year, Sam Stoller, a senior at the University of Michigan, were replaced on the 4x100 m relay team, while the University of Southern California's Foy Draper and Frank Wycoff remained on the team. Glickman's friend Jesse Owens was apologetic and protested the maneuver, even though he was one of the replacements, along with Ralph Metcalfe.
By Glickman’s own account, the last-minute switch was a straightforward case of anti-Semitism. Avery Brundage, president of the United States Olympic Committee, was an enthusiastic supporter of Hitler’s regime but denied that the Nazis followed anti-Semitic policies. Brundage and the assistant U.S. Olympic track coach Dean Cromwell were members of America First, an isolationist political movement that attracted American Nazi sympathizers.
Sixty-two years later, in 1998, the then-president of the U.S. Olympic Committee, William J. Hybl, honored Glickman and the memory of Sam Stoller, who had died in 1983, by presenting Glickman with a plaque “in lieu of the gold medals they didn’t win” in Berlin. Hybl noted that although there was no written proof that anti-Semitism had been at play during the 1936 Olympics, it was clearly the case. "I was a prosecutor," Hybl said. "I'm used to looking at evidence. The evidence was there."
Football and basketball
Glickman became a distinguished sportscaster, beginning as the voice man for the sports newsreels distributed by Paramount News, between 1948 and 1957 when Paramount News' newsreel production ended. He covered all local, national and global sports during that era in every genre. Glickman's poetic lilt and slight New York twang made him a favorite in those early years of news production.
After Paramount News, he became best known as the voice of the New York Knicks (21 years) and New York Giants (23 years). He also did some New York Rangers broadcasts. In the early 1960s, Glickman teamed up with the analyst Al DeRogatis, an ex-Giants defensive lineman, to form a legendary broadcast team for "New York Football Giants" fans, many of whom discovered a sound reason to turn down the TV audio in their living rooms and turn up the radio while those in the stands at Yankee Stadium held transistor radios to their ears. In later years, the WNEW-originated broadcasts included the WNEW sports editor Chip Cipolla. Glickman and Cipolla utilized a unique format in which Glickman broadcast the offense and Cipolla the defense. Glickman also broadcast New York high school football games while he was broadcasting for the Knicks.
Glickman had a phrase describing Giant's fullback Alex Webster as going for "a couple of three yards".
Glickman was a longtime mentor of broadcasters. His most famous protégé, Marv Albert, eventually called radio broadcasts of the Knicks, Giants and Rangers. He also helped the careers of the acclaimed sportscasters Spencer Ross and Johnny Most. Glickman himself became a member of the Curt Gowdy wing of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Glickman joined the radio station WHN in 1939 and was its sports director by 1943. When the New York Knickerbockers were formed in 1946, Glickman was their radio announcer. Later, he was the National Basketball Association's first TV announcer. Glickman was also the first announcer for the New York Nets before the ABA-NBA merger, when they played in their first home, the Island Garden in Nassau County. Many feel he became the voice of the New York Nets as a favor to Lou Carneseca, who left a successful stint as the basketball coach of St. John's University to be the first coach of the New York Nets.
He was also the voice of the Yonkers Raceway for 12 years and the New York Jets for 11 years. Glickman did pre- and post-game shows for the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees for 22 years. Glickman was often heard on WPIX-11's telecasts of local college basketball during the winter. As the sports director of WCBS Radio in the 1960s, he briefly resurrected the ancient broadcasting art of re-creation, voicing blind play-by-play accounts of segments of New York Yankees spring training games to the huddled, chilled, baseball-starved masses in the metropolitan area.
In addition, in the 1980s, Glickman also broadcast University of Connecticut football and basketball games for the Connecticut Radio Network. Glickman returned to college football in 1985, calling Ivy League football games for PBS.
In addition to this, Glickman covered track meets, wrestling matches from St. Nicholas Arena, roller derbies, rodeos and even a marbles tournament. NBC employed him as a critic and teacher of its sports announcers. In 1988, Glickman returned to television on NBC as a play-by-play replacement on its NFL telecasts while protégé Marv Albert was in Seoul covering the Olympics. He retired from broadcasting in December 1992, aged 74.
In 1996, his autobiography, The Fastest Kid on the Block, was published.
- Othello Harris, George Kirsch; Claire Nolte (April 2000). Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 190. ISBN 0-313-29911-0.
- Wallace, William (January 4, 2001). "Marty Glickman, Announcer And Blocked Olympian, 83". New York Times.
- "Marty Glickman at Jewish Virtual Library". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
- "Glickman at JVL". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
- "Glickman at Jewish Sports". Jewishsports.net. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
- Sandomir, Richard (January 7, 2001). "MARTY GLICKMAN: 1917–2001 – The Snub, the Voice, the Heart; A Precise, Animated Diction That Captivated the Listener". New York Times.
- Halberstam, David J. Sports on New York Radio. McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (February 1, 1999). p. 432. ISBN 1-57028-197-1.