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Hall of Fame hockey announcer, La Fontaine native Emrick retires

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Mike Doc Emrick

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Mike Emrick -- the Hall of Fame hockey announcer better known as "Doc" -- is hanging up his skates.

Ermick's name is often mentioned in discussions of sports broadcasting's greatest contributors.

He spent the latter years of his career with NBC and its affiliated channels, but has worked for CBS, ESPN, Fox and other networks in a career that spanned nearly half a century.

Emrick, who is 74, was born in La Fontaine and graduated from Manchester University in 1968, but did not immediately turn to broadcasting. He earned additional degrees from Miami University and Bowling Green State University.

His first regular on-air job was with a Michigan minor league hockey franchise in 1973.

His career took off soon after.

Accolades poured in Monday from across the sports world. The Fort Wayne TinCaps joined those offering their congratulations.

Among those who mentored Emrick: Bob Chase, the legendary Fort Wayne Komets broadcaster, who passed away in 2016.

The two had met in the late 1960s and remained close friends over the years.

"You know, we're all con artists when we're college kids and we want to meet somebody," Emrick told following Chase's passing.

The story continues:

"I had cut out a 1-1/2-square-inch picture of him from the program and I had left it in my Volkswagen Beetle," he said. "I had done the interview, he gave me this great goal call to take with me, and I had forgotten the picture. So I went out to the car and there it is sitting in the passenger seat. I screwed up my courage and I walked back in and talked to the receptionist. 'Can I see Bob again?' She called him back out and he goes, 'Oh Mike, what is it?' I said, 'Can I get an autograph.' This picture is no bigger than a postage stamp and there was nothing in the lobby right there to write on, so he got down on one knee, and he's 6-feet-4, and signed this 1-1/2-square inch picture for me."

Emrick still has the autographed picture.

"He became a friend for life," he said.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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