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Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Garagiola retires

PHOENIX — Wednesday marked the end of an era in baseball broadcasting.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Garagiola retired Wednesday in a press conference at the Diamondbacks Spring Training Complex in Scottsdale.

Saying that his health is good, Garagiola said he is stepping down to spend more time with his wife, Audrey. The two have been married for 63 years.

Garagiola said he wanted to accomplish three things with his life.

“I wanted to meet a Pope, I wanted to sleep in the White House and I wanted to make it to the Hall of Fame,” said Garagiola. “I did meet a Pope, and then I did meet a president, President Ford. It’s been a great ride.”

Garagiola made it into the Hall of Fame as a broadcaster.

After a nine-year career as a baseball player, Garagiola moved to the broadcast booth in 1955. Over the years, he broadcast games for the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He spent several years on NBC’s “Major League Baseball Game of the Week.” He worked with such baseball broadcasting greats as Harry Caray, Red Barber, Curt Gowdy and Vin Scully.

In addition to baseball, Garagiola served as one of the hosts of NBC’s “Today” Show for a time. He hosted game shows like “To Tell The Truth,” “Sale of the Century,” and “Joe Garagiola’s Memory Game.” He even pinch-hit for Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show.”

Garagiola has spent the last 15 years as a broadcaster for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The team said it will honor him at an upcoming game.