I met Warner Fusselle on August 22, 1994. It was my first season calling minor league baseball for the Hudson Valley Renegades. My broadcast partner, Bill Rogan, and I had to deliver a tape to a “This Week In Baseball” producer in South Hackensack, New Jersey. Fussell was the longtime host of TWIB, and it was quite a thrill to meet a broadcasting icon that day.
I grew up watching “This Week In Baseball.” I looked forward to TWIB’s airing before a Mets weekend game even more than the game itself. (In fact, the show’s theme song was recently my cell phone ring tone for a couple years) As we stood talking to Warner Fusselle in his crowded office in New Jersey, I recall thinking “I can’t wait to tell my Dad I met Warner Fusselle!” He was extremely gracious and cordial, and we had a nice visit. I had met many sports and broadcasting figures that year, but none compared to meeting the voice of “This Week In Baseball,” Warner Fusselle.
Five years later, I was the basketball play by play voice of the Army Cadets at West Point. On December 20th, Army played Seton Hall at the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey. Before the game, I introduced myself to Warner Fusselle, who was calling games for Seton Hall. He remembered me from our brief meeting years earlier. We did a great pregame interview, chatting about college hoops and broadcasting in general. It was great to hear him tell stories in his familiar southern voice.
Classic baseball broadcasters have had the ability to come into our home and, in turn, bring us to the ballpark. Ernie Harwell, Marty Glickman and Red Barber had this talent. So did Warner Fusselle. Whether it was “This Week In Baseball”, college hoops or the Brooklyn Cyclones, Fusselle had that warm, friendly sound that made you feel like you were watching the game with a friend. Sports fans – and broadcasting fans – undoubtedly had one in Warner Fusselle.