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Now, They're REALLY All Gone

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Lloyd Pettit, who broadcast Chicago Blackhawk hockey in the 1950's and 1960's, and was Jack Brickhouse's sidekick during the '60s on Cub telecasts, died last night in his hometown of Milwaukee at the age of 76.

Pettit's signature hockey call of "A shot! And a goal!" helped create a generation of young Blackhawks fans, myself included; unfortunately the pigheaded attitudes of the Wirtz ownership have steadily eroded that over the 33 years since Pettit shocked the Chicago broadcast world with his sudden "retirement" at the age of 43.

Why did he retire? Because he married one of the wealthiest women in his native Milwaukee, Jane Bradley, heir to the Allen-Bradley fortune. Allen-Bradley is a manufacturing company that's now part of Rockwell Automation, and is perhaps best known among Chicagoans for the huge clock that you can see near downtown Milwaukee as you drive in on I-94 (for a time, it was the largest clock face in the world).

Anyway, Pettit and his wife became known for their philanthropic donations to all kinds of worthy causes, and in the mid-1990's spent $71 million of their own money to build the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, home of the Milwaukee Bucks.

He was a terrific broadcaster -- I really missed him in particular in comparison to his successor, Jim West, who was a really nice guy (I worked with him briefly at WGN in the late 1970's), but West couldn't hold a candle to Pettit as an announcer.

Now, all the men who broadcast Cub games when I was a kid are gone.

Maybe now we can win.