Legendary Tigers, Michigan Broadcaster Frank Beckmann Dead at 72
Frank Beckmann took over for a legend, Bob Ufer, on Michigan Football, and became a legend himself. Beckmann worked along side a Baseball Hall Of Famer, Ernie Harwell on Detroit Tigers games, and over a 52 year career, he also called Detroit Pistons and Red Wings games, too. Beckmann died this weekend. He was 72.
Beckman, a Detroit-area native, did pretty much everything in broadcasting. Starting his career in Alpena, he was a one-person news operation. When he made it to Detroit at WJR, he became an award-winning news reporter, winning the honor for his coverage of the Jimmy Hoffa disappearance. A few years later, he moved over to the sports department and called the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons and became Sports Director. This led to him hiring George Blaha in 1976 to announce the Pistons.
Then he started doing color on the Detroit Lions games and eventually became the play-by-play announcer in 1983.
It was also in the early 1980's that Bob Ufer retired as the Michigan football announcer and Beckmann replaced him. He called Michigan football off and on for over 30 seasons, along side the recently retired Jim Brandstatter.
And in the mid-1990's, he became a part of the Detroit Tigers broadcast team. When WJR lost the Michigan rights in 2005, so synonymous was Beckmann with U of M football that his bosses allowed him to keep calling games.
Another career highlight, Beckmann was a pioneer of sports talk radio in Detroit, starting in the early 1980's.
Listeners remembered on Twitter that Beckmann was never one to hold back. Lennon Turney tweet Sunday, "Frank calling a Tiger game from the west coast
1am, the Tigers were down 9-0 (or worse). After a play he told the sequence, "6-4-3 if you are keeping score". Spontaneously he said "if you are keeping score send me your completed score card and we'll send you a pair of tickets".
(Michigan Athletics via YouTube)
Beckmann is survived by his wife, two children and several grandchildren.