Bob Chase, Voice Of Fort Wayne Komets Hockey On WOWO For 63 Seasons, Dies At 90
November 28, 2016 at 3:27 AM (PT)
BOB CHASE, the voice of minor league hockey's FORT WAYNE KOMETS for 63 seasons, died early THANKSGIVING morning (11/24) at 90, the team has announced.
CHASE began calling the KOMETS on WOWO-A/FORT WAYNE in 1953 after arriving in FORT WAYNE from MARQUETTE, MI; his broadcasts were heard over a large portion of the U.S. and CANADA due to WOWO's nighttime signal, which, before a deal with co-channel WLIB-A/NEW YORK reduced nighttime coverage, was one of the most ubiquitous skywave signals in the eastern and midwestern portions of NORTH AMERICA. The team retired the number 40 in CHASE's honor when he celebrated his 40th season behind the mic in 1993 and put him in their Hall of Fame in 2003, his 50th season. He was also inducted into the INDIANA BROADCASTERS ASSOCIATION Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2000 as well as several other honors, and won the LESTER PATRICK Award from the NHL and USA HOCKEY in 2012 and the ECHL Broadcaster of the Year honor in 2013-14.
"He was the voice of KOMET hockey my entire life," said KOMETS CEO STEPHEN FRANKE. "He knew more about the history of KOMET hockey than anyone. He was a good man who made life a little more special for the rest of us."
"BOB CHASE was KOMET hockey," said KOMETS President MICHAEL FRANKE. "He put FORT WAYNE and the KOMETS on the map with his deep voice penetrating 28 states and half of CANADA on WOWO radio. More than anything I will miss him. He was a father figure to us all. Things will never be the same."
"This is a very sad day in KOMET history and FORT WAYNE history. We have lost the JOHN WAYNE of FORT WAYNE and the hockey broadcasting world," said KOMETS GM DAVID FRANKE. "We will never again hear his play-by-play call of KOMET hockey or the wise and respected voice of WOWO radio. I will always be grateful for all I learned from BOB. He gave me the opportunity to work with the KOMETS during the 1988-89 season and his words of wisdom, support and guidance will always be with me. BOB CHASE is a legend in every sense of the word and we will miss him dearly."
WOWO honored CHASE's memory with a special edition of the station's "FORT WAYNE MORNING NEWS" on MONDAY, followed by a tribute that ran all day. The special is available online by clicking here.