Jerry Girard, a New York City sports broadcaster known for his deadpan wit, died Sunday of cancer at Westchester Medical Center. The Bronxville resident was 74.
Girard worked as a weeknight sports anchor on WPIX-TV Channel 11 from 1974 to 1995, when he resigned rather than switch to weekend duty. He was replaced by Sal Marchiano.
“He was very popular with the viewers, very popular in the newsroom,” Karen Scott, news director for WPIX-TV Channel 11, said yesterday. “He was a hard worker, and he definitely knew his sports.”
The Bronx native, born Gerard A. Suglia, went on the air for the first time at the age of 41, after seven years as a news writer for the station. The Manhattan College alumnus’ early radio career included stints in South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Indiana.
In addition to rooting for his beloved Yankees, Girard was a boxing, basketball and horseracing fan. He liked to read and play pool.
Girard was a significant thread stitched in the patchwork of the fan experience during the overall Steinbrenner-Yankees quilt making process. And, his section of the fabric represents what many Yankees fans consider a more fun time than the present day. I enjoyed watching Girard. I hope the Yankees acknowledge his legacy, in some form, during Old-Timer’s Day this season. It would be nice for the fans to be able to cheer for him one last time.