Thank you, Mike Isaacs, for your terrific and well-deserved tribute to longtime WGN broadcaster Vince Lloyd [“The Voice of Summer,” July 11]. By waxing poetic, you perfectly captured the significant effect he had on his listeners and the role he played in our lives.
Sadly, Lloyd’s death was reported with much less fanfare than any of his higher-profile colleagues and predecessors in passing–Harry Caray, Jack Brickhouse, and Lou Boudreau. Happily, his accomplishments and contributions to Chicago sports in 38 years as a broadcast journalist here, particularly his 23 years as the radio voice of the Cubs, will be joyously remembered forever by fans of our generation.
I grew up in Iowa listening to Lloyd and his wonderful South Dakota baritone so accurately and excitedly illustrate Cubs games on radio, long before cable television came along. Perhaps only Grant Wood could have painted a better picture of a ball game than Lloyd’s descriptive reporting. He truly was one of the last great voices of Major League Baseball, the best ever in my book. Outside of the booth Vince was one of the most humble, genuinely friendly gentlemen one could ever have the pleasure of meeting or getting to know. He absolutely loved talking baseball with Cubs fans.
Isaacs identified the memorials in place at Wrigley Field recognizing Caray and Brickhouse and their noteworthy contributions, then dejectedly added: “But there are no visual memories of Vince Lloyd at the Friendly Confines.” This inadvertent Cubs snub has stuck in my craw for years. On more than one occasion I had pleaded with the Cubs executive who handles such to honor Lloyd before his time was up. He assured me Vince would be added to the club’s Walk of Fame. It’s a shame that promise was never executed for Lloyd and his many listeners to cherish.
While the Cubs disappointed us often, especially in perhaps his and the team’s greatest yet most sorrowful season in 1969, Lloyd never once let us down. Nor did he ever focus on placing blame while reporting the final result of another Cubs defeat. “That’s baseball,” Vince would sigh, nodding to his booth partner and best friend, “Good Kid” Boudreau. “Let’s go get ’em tomorrow, Lou.”
May you rest in peace, Vince Lloyd, and always with a radio close by so you can “Stay tuned for Cubs baseball.”