Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sam The Man


Three weeks ago, I just received word from my mother that the man who made My Journalist Passion a reality died on August 17, 2012 in Walled Lake, MI.

On December 29, 1979, My father asked me if I wanted to go see WXYZ Sports Talk hosted by Ron Cameron with a friend of mine. This 17th birthday present was made possible by a man that was a regular guest on the show named Sam Greenblatt.

Greenblatt (78) was the Manager of My Fathers sporting good store All Pro Sporting Goods in Oak Park, MI.

Sam spent over 30-years as one of the leaders in the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association. He was inducted into the Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation Hall of Fame in 2001.

Greenblatt has been in My Hall of Fame for 33 years.

Unfortunately, I saw him once at My Grandmother Sophie Morganroth's funeral in April of 2000 for five minutes after he departed All Pro Sporting Goods in the early 1980's.

It was too bad we couldn't talk longer because I was editing my grandmother's eulogy after taking a cross country red-eyed flight from Phoenix, AZ.

Still, I hope that over the years that Sam had a chance to see My Stories with the Detroit Monitor, the occasional work I did on the radio as well as the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association Blog.

I'll never know that.

But I do know that without Sam, there wouldn't be my first major interview with Tommy Lasorda, the Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Fame Manager. There would be no opportunity to write about the greatest fighter of All-Time, Muhammad Ali.

Without Sam, I wouldn't have covered four Super Bowls and have seen the Final Game ever at Tiger Stadium in 1999.

I wouldn't have had close relationship with Ernie Harwell that began in 1983 along with the good times that I enjoyed with the late Joe Falls, who was a father figure to me.

I wouldn't have had the opportunity to write about all of Detroit's four major sports teams and the great relationships that were created with these classy franchises. There would be no great times at the Michigan International Speedway.

What was figured to be just a one-time visit to Sports Talk Show turned out to be a lifetime full of memories.

What occurred on December 29, 1979, was a dream that would shape my life both in Metro Detroit as well as on the National Sports Scene.

Besides the gift of doing what fans would dream of doing, that birthday gift enabled me to create the best relationship one could ever imagine.

My best friend and older brother George Eichorn and I have teamed up on an infinite amount of projects. We've had a blast doing it and continue to find more quality things to create.

Thanks to Sam, while this writer never had a chance to play high school, collegiate or professional sports, at least I had the opportunity to sit in numerous press boxes, at court-side and have been in plenty of locker-rooms.

I enjoyed listening to press box announcers telling us that we weren't allowed to cheer and to be professional otherwise we'd be removed from the premises. Though I wonder how many media people were paying attention at Lions games at the Pontiac Silverdome when Barry Sanders was carrying the football.

Thus far, this has been a tough year losing close people starting out with a woman named Doris Burks, a former housekeeper but great friend that was a mother figure that died at the age of 76. Pearl Zivitz followed on June 17 and now Sam is gone on August 17.

Yet, all of these individuals made their mark on me in unforgettable ways.

In Sam's case, the word legendary in my eyes, would be the biggest understated word on the planet because of the tremendous magnitude of the unforgettable moments that I've experienced.

There wouldn't be the nickname that Gus Pantelides tagged me with, "Scoop."

I would be a normal fan and after covering sports for so many years, I could never fathom being a fan having been a professional media guy for years.

All I can say is God Bless Sam and I hope you rest in peace. Thanks for everything and if you've ever Googled yourself, at least you know that I've never forgotten you and never well.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at

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