Friends of Irwin give memories of sports broadcasting legend
MILWAUKEE - Friends, family, co-workers and fans have expressed condolences, prayers and their thoughts on the passing of a Wisconsin sports broadcast legend.
Jim Irwin, Newsradio 620 WTMJ's longtime voice of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Wisconsin Badgers, lost his battle with kidney cancer and passed away at the age of 77.
The following is just a sampling of the thoughts, memories and emotion poured out after Irwin's death, with many comments airing on Newsradio 620 WTMJ and TODAY'S TMJ4:
"Jim's longevity shows he was a tremendous play by play announcer and I think it also showed great loyalty, both fans to Jim, and Jim to the fans." - Steve Wexler, Executive Vice President, Journal Broadcast Group
"Jim was the best. He certainly will be missed. He certainly left his mark on Wisconsin sports. Jim was a terrific guy, one of those icons of Wisconsin sports, not only the Packers, but the Badgers and the Bucks. Where he found time to do it all, he did, and he did it well, certainly part of the fabric of sports in Wisconsin." - Larry McCarren, Irwin's Packers broadcast partner from 1995-98 on Newsradio 620 WTMJ
"We were very close. He's been out here for 10 years now. We were friends when we worked together for so many years. It continued out here. We became even closer. He was a remarkable man in the way that he fought this disease. He went peacefully. No pain. Just a great loss." - Hank Stoddard, Jim's longtime friend and fellow TODAY'S TMJ4 sports anchor
"I was so happy for him, because he spent so many years watching a team that had struggled to get to that level and finally they got there." - Wayne Larrivee, current Newsradio 620 WTMJ Voice of the Packers, on Irwin calling a Super Bowl champion during the 1996 season
"The Packers organization was saddened today to hear of the passing of Jim Irwin. Jim was great friend to the Packers family over the years, particularly for the 24 seasons he was the play-by-play voice of the Packers Radio Network. During Jim's Hall-of-Fame career, Packers fans all over the state were riveted by his calls. The Packers and generations of our fans are indebted to Jim and his enthusiastic approach to his work. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim's wife, Gloria, and his entire family." - Mark Murphy, Packers President and CEO
"I had great admiration for his abilities. The fact that the number of weekends that he would do a Badgers football broadcast in Madison on Saturday afternoon, come back to Milwaukee and do a Bucks preseason game that night, and be in Green Bay the next afternoon to do our game. He had the same enthusiasm during every broadcast, was always on top of what his duties were, always knew what he wanted to do and how to handle it professionally. We had just a warm relationship." - Bob Harlan, former Packers President and CEO
"(The 80's) really (were) a golden era, and Jim Irwin brought everyone right to the court every night." - John Steinmiller, Vice President, Milwaukee Bucks
"He will leave a legacy in this town that probably won't be duplicated by a lot of other people." - Robb Edwards, former host of Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News" and current Miller Park public address voice of the Milwaukee Brewers