Sunsetting Careers – Mike Emrick Hockey cards – The hockey world was taken by surprise today when longtime broadcaster Mike “Doc” Emrick announced his retirement.

The announcement brings to close one of the most well-known voices in all of hockey. Emrick has been the lead commentator for NBC broadcasts of NHL games for 15 years and for 21 seasons he was the play-by-play lead for the New Jersey Devils.

“The risk one takes in saying something about Doc Emrick is that you know he could have worded it better himself — on the spur of the moment, with 20,000 screaming in his ears (or up to 105,000 in the rain, snow and/or bitter cold), to a national broadcast audience relying on him to get it just right,” said NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, in a statement to ESPN. “In the 103-year history of the National Hockey League, nobody has ever conveyed the sights, sounds, passion, excitement, thrills and intricacies of our game better.”

Doc, now 74, started calling hockey back in 1973 as a broadcaster for the now-defunct IHL’s Port Huron Flags and gradually worked his way up the ranks, eventually joining the Devils for the 1982-83 season, their first season after moving from Colorado. He also worked for several years with the Philadelphia Flyers broadcast crew, eventually entering the play-by-play booth; but it’s arguable that his best-known team-based days were with Jersey. During the club’s victorious run to the 1995 Stanley Cup, Emrick’s voice was heard across North America on FOX.

So respected is Emrick that he has been employed by virtually every sports-broadcasting station in the United States. His credentials include time with NBC, FOX, FOX Sports Net, CBS, ABC, TNT, ESPN, SportsChannel and several others. Along with covering NHL hockey, Emrick lent his voice to Olympic broadcasts and even the NFL.

Emrick’s status as one of hockey’s greatest voices was cemented with his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.

For collectors, Emrick’s limited card inventory was increased earlier in 2020 by Topps, who included cards of Emrick in Allen and Ginter. Topps offered their congratulations to the La Fontaine, IN native in a statement to Go GTS. “The Topps team congratulates Doc on his illustrious career and wishes him all the best in retirement! Doc’s long list of accomplishments as an NHL announcer certainly speaks for itself, and we’re thrilled to be a part of his legacy by featuring him on a 2020 Topps Allen & Ginter card.”

Prior to this, Doc‘s most well-known card came in 2011-12 as part of Crown Royale’s Voices of the Game autographed insert.

Congratulations to Mike Emrick and thank you for inspiring generations of broadcasters and fans of the game.

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Jon Waldman
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