Monday, February 28, 2011
By Brett Ballantini
GLENDALE, Ariz. Chicago White Sox vice chairman Eddie Einhorn was selected for induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, an honor that will be acknowledged at this years Final Four in Houston. Induction ceremonies will take place in Kansas City on November 20.
Einhorn started his 58-year broadcasting career as a 17-year-old freshman at Penn.
First day, I checked in, ran to the radio station, Einhorn said. Got on the campus radio station by the end of that year, doing Penn basketball, and havent quit since.
Mere years later, Einhorn had formed the Midwestern Sports Network and ran it out of his dorm at Northwestern University, where he was studying law. The floor phone at Abbott Hall was his business phone.
In 1958, Einhorn arranged the national syndication of the NCAA Tournament on radio, and 10 years later founded the TVS television network to produce the Game of the Century for television. The game, pitting UCLAs Lew Alcindor vs. Houstons Elvin Hayes, was played in the Astrodome and filmed using just three cameras, according to Einhorn.
The success of the Game of the Century, won in an upset by HoustonI really do think that had UCLA won, it wouldnt have been the story it wasis largely credited with fueling the popularity of televised basketball as a whole.
Einhorn later televised the very first University of Kentucky road games shown on TV, UCLA-Notre Dame battles, and LSU games featuring Hall-of-Famer Pete Maravich.
The big guys liked me, for some reason, Einhorn said. Kentucky head coach Adolph Rupp and UCLA coach John Wooden and Alabama football coach Bear Bryant, those kinds of guys, you needed their support. I was a pain in the neck: Who is this young kid?
Chasing his lifelong love for college basketball, Einhorn had attended 25 straight Final Fours. Ironically, it was his new job as part of Jerry Reinsdorfs ownership team that saw him fall short of a 26th.
I was scheduled to get on a plane to Tampa to get me there in time but in the morning, I had a meeting with Ruly Carpenter of the Phillies and we signed Greg Luzinski, Einhorn said. I was so excited about that, I started across the freeway and I said, You know, Ive had enough of that. I turned around and came back and broke my streak.
Einhorn is part of a gilded class entering the Hall of Fame, which includes Ralph Sampson, James Worthy, Eddie Sutton, Cassie Russell, Chris Mullin, and Bobby Knight.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.