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Bill Mazer, a sports talk radio pioneer who spent two decades as an anchor and host of the weekend roundup show Sports Extra on WNEW-TV in New York, died Wednesday. He was 92.
Mazer, who earned the nickname “The Amazin’ ” for his encyclopedic knowledge of sports trivia, died at Danbury (Conn.) Hospital after moving to an assisted-living facility in the area two years ago, his son Arnie told The New York Times.
Mazer, raised in Brooklyn and a fan of the Dodgers, spent 60 years in broadcasting before he retired in 2009. After 16 years covering sports in Buffalo, N.Y., he returned to New York when he was hired by WNBC-AM in 1964 to host a groundbreaking sports talk show in the afternoon.
“The first call was a kid, and he said, ‘I just want to ask you one question,’” Mazer told New York Newsday in a 2011 interview. “I said, ‘OK, go ahead.’ He said, ‘Who’s better: Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle?’ ”
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Mazer later worked for New York’s WFAN, the first full-time sports talk station, which debuted in 1987.
Mazer served as an analyst for NHL games on CBS and did commentary for the Knicks, Nets, Rangers and Islanders before he joined WNEW-TV in 1971 to anchor its nightly sports coverage. On Channel 5’s Sports Extra, he often teamed and argued with former New York Jets defensive back John Dockery.
Mazer attended Yeshiva University High School for Boys in Manhattan and the University of Michigan, then served in World War II. He got his first job in Buffalo with the help of broadcasting legend Marty Glickman, whom he had met in the service.
In addition to his son, Mazer is survived by daughters Francine and Beverly, sister Frances and two grandchildren.
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