The Obit For Lawrence Goldberg

Lawrence H. Goldberg

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 4/27/2009

Family-Placed Death Notice

GOLDBERG, Lawrence Lawrence H. Goldberg, whose diligence saved Russ Hodges' famous, exuberant baseball call, "The Giants win the pennant!" died Saturday, April 25, 2009, in Atlanta. He was 84.

It was October 3, 1951, when Mr. Goldberg -- before heading to work -- asked his mother, Sylvia, to record the end of the third game of the Brooklyn Dodgers-New York Giants playoff game.

That reel-to-reel tape recorded Hodges' call: 'There's a long fly. It's going to be, I believe. The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! Bobby Thomson hits into the lower deck of the left-field stands. The Giants win the pennant! And they're going crazy. They're going crazy!'

The radio station that broadcast the game hadn't recorded it, and Mr. Goldberg offered to lend his tape to Hodges. Without it, the world would have never heard the call -- which has since been repeated on the radio, TV and film.

At first, Hodges made recordings as gifts for friends. The next spring, sponsor Chesterfield cigarettes made records of the call for their dealers.

In return, Mr. Goldberg, was given a tape cartridge, $100 and access to Chesterfield's box at the Polo Grounds for the season.

On the 50th anniversary of the call, Mr. Goldberg told The New York Times why he made the recording:

'I knew I wouldn't be able to listen to the broadcast, and I knew something was going to happen,' he told the Times. 'It was the third game of the playoffs. That kind of game had to be climactic, even if it was a blowout.'

Larry Goldberg died at Emory University Hospital from congestive heart failure. In addition to being an avid Giants fan, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather and retired travel agent.

He was born January 3, 1925, in Brooklyn, New York, to the late Joseph and Sylvia Goldberg. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II, having been stationed in England. He attained the rank of sergeant.

Mr. Goldberg was graduated from Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York. He was united in marriage to Gloria Roffman in Atlanta, Georgia on December 18, 1955.

He came to Atlanta in 1953 to work for American Express. He later worked for The Travel Mart and managed Rich's Travel Agency at Rich's department stores.

He was a member of Congregation Beth Jacob, where he served on the board of directors and was president of the men's club.

He served as president of the Atlanta chapter of ASTA, the American Society of Travel Agents, and was a member of SKAL, the International Association of Travel and Tourism Professionals.

Mr. Goldberg was a voracious reader who was interested in world politics, enjoyed working crossword puzzles and adored his grandchildren, who loved their Zayda.

He is survived by his wife, Gloria; his son and his wife, Steve and Leah; his daughter and her husband, Debra and Reid Sifen; four grandchildren, Alexander Goldberg of Atlanta, and Shaina, Menachem and Meir Sifen of Toronto, Ontario.

Graveside services will be at 2:00 p.m., Monday, April 27, at Crest Lawn Memorial Park, 2000 Marietta Blvd., Atlanta. Rabbi Ilan Feldman will officiate.

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In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Congregation Beth Jacob.

The family would like to thank all of the staff at Emory University Hospital for their help and support, especially the doctors and nurses at the Cardiac Care Unit.

Dressler's Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, 770-451-4999.