Garagiola’s Charmed Life Followed Unique, Fulfilled Script

Diamondbacks color analyst and anti-tobacco crusader Joe Garagiola will announce today that he is leaving the broadcast booth. David Wallace/azcentral sports 4/10/10 - DBacks0410 163898 - Diamondbacks color analyst Joe Garagiola Sr. (left) (cq) for FSN (cq) smiles while announcing with Daron Sutton (cq) the play by play announcer during the game against the Pirates (cq) at Chase Field (cq) on Saturday, April 10, 2010. (cq) This was Garagiola Sr. (cq) first game of the season after missing all of last season. (Photo by David Wallace/ The Arizona Republic)

There will never be another Joe Garagiola, Sr.

Major League Baseball lost an icon Wednesday but what he did for the game both on and off the field will never be forgotten.

“It’s rare in life when somebody gets to do exactly what they want to do in life,” ESPN baseball insider and close friend of the Garagiola family Pedro Gomez said in a text message to Joe Garagiola, Jr. shortly after his dad’s passing. “Your father certainly lived that life.”

Garagiola certainly got to check most, if not all off his vast bucket list: Major League Baseball player, Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster, NBC ‘Today Show” co-host, game show host and even Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show co-host among other ventures.

The quick-witted Garagiola, a famed storyteller who also wrote three baseball books, would lighten any room simply by walking through it. He was never in too big a hurry to stop and chat with friends or even total strangers.

“Joe was very, very passionate in life,”Gomez said to Cesmat. “[his death] should be celebrated more than it should be a down [time],” Gomez said to Cesmat.

The Arizona Diamondbacks, who Garagiola did television analyst work for before retiring February 20, 2013, honored his life with a moment of silence Wednesday shortly before their Cactus League Game against the San Francisco Giants at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.

“He was a great man and I feel all the more luckier to have met him.”

Garagiola passed away at the age of 90.