Passing Of A Legend
July 22, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV Athletics and all of Southern Nevada lost one of its most beloved figures on Sunday, as long-time radio announcer Bob Blum passed away at the age of 91.
Blum, who was affectionately known as the Dean of West Coast Broadcasters, was the oldest active play-by-play announcer in the nation, having just finished his 27th season as the Voice of the Lady Rebels. While his recent duties at UNLV involved the women's basketball team, at one point or another during his outstanding career Blum called UNLV men's basketball, football, baseball, and softball contests. He was recognized on Feb. 4, 2006, for having broadcast his 1,000th career game at UNLV, far and away the most games ever worked by any sports broadcaster in UNLV history.
"Bob was not only a great announcer, but also a great friend and supporter and so much more to UNLV and the Lady Rebel family," said UNLV women's basketball head coach Kathy Olivier. "I've known him ever since he called my games when I played for UNLV (1979-81), and we are going to miss him so much. He's almost like part of the uniform, everyone knows 'Blummer.' Bob always took so much pride in his work and how he represented the Lady Rebels. It will be a huge void in our family not having him around."
"On behalf of our entire UNLV family, this is a sad day for all that knew Bob Blum," said UNLV Director of Athletics Jim Livengood. "He was a true Rebel and a true gentleman. Bob put his heart and soul into our programs for many years. He will be missed by all of us."
Blum actually had well over 60 years of broadcast experience, as the California legend's voice has graced broadcasts for Major League Baseball and National Football League professional sports franchises such as the San Francisco Giants, the Oakland Raiders (five years) and the San Diego Chargers (two years). He also called college football and college basketball games in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In addition to his work at UNLV, Blum was a member of the Las Vegas 51s professional baseball franchise since 1984, broadcasting select games from 1985-2005 and again from 2008-10. Most recently, he served in the role of special assistant to the general manager.
The longtime Rebel supporter was voted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame's Class of 2000 as a distinguished contributor. Blum was also named as the 2002 Nevada Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscaster and Sportswriter's Association. In 2007, Blum was inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame as well.
In 1998, Blum was honored at the All-American Football Foundation Banquet as its recipient of the Lindsay Nelson Sportscaster Award. The award honors individuals for lifetime achievement in the field of sports broadcasting. Not one to slow down in his final years, Blum released his first book just prior to his 90th birthday, "Started Talking at 11 Months... Still Talking."
Funeral and memorial service details are still to be announced.