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I was stunned to receive the news yesterday of Rick Wolff’s passing.
For those unfamiliar with Rick’s work, he hosted the “Sports Edge” on WFAN radio.
In fact, I had a really nice phone chat in late December with the Armonk resident about a Stone’s Throw column he ultimately featured on a Sunday morning broadcast, discussing the local Title IX debate in Bedford schools.
Some of the due diligence he went through in that call helped illustrate for me how Rick was a journalist at heart, complementing his skills as a radio broadcaster.
Rick’s daughter Alyssa emailed me Tuesday afternoon to share about her father’s passing, also alerting me of his Examiner obituary request.
I remember a lunch I had with Rick at a local diner a few years ago, and I peppered him with questions about his famous sports broadcaster father, Bob Wolff, who I grew up watching on Long Island.
He also regaled me with classic stories of his work with pro athletes, as one of the early proponents of sports psychology.
In our conversations, I also inquired at length about a legendary article Rick wrote for Sports Illustrated in 1989, when he was 38.
Rick, in his younger years, was a minor league baseball player, retiring at 24.
But he returned to the game as a 38-year-old suburban dad, for a quick final hurrah with the South Bend White Sox, to be chronicled in S.I.
Rick and I first bonded in 2018, after I wrote about my own little stab at a baseball dream, with a trip down to Port St. Lucie, Florida as part of Mets Fantasy Camp.
“If there’s one person in Armonk who could relate to your lifelong passion for baseball, it’s probably yours truly,” Rick wrote in an email to me in February of that year, referring to his Sports Illustrated article. “To this day, I still can’t explain how I had such a good series.”
Local sports broadcasting luminaries began paying tribute to Rick yesterday.
“Like his father, Bob, who was a good friend, he was every inch a gentleman,” WFAN legend Mike Francesca tweeted.
In addition to his grieving family and friends, Rick is going to be deeply missed by his legion of fans, myself most definitely included.
Digital editor Robert Schork posted this obituary, with content mostly provided by Alyssa, detailing Rick’s career in book publishing, broadcasting, psychology, and, more.
Rest in peace, Rick.
We do have some other new items up live this morning.
Examiner Editor-in-Chief Martin Wilbur reports on a local couple and their business dream.
They’re rebranding the 40,000-square-foot former Solaris health club site in Yorktown Heights as East Coast Sports and Fitness.
“This has been my calling. This is my mid-life crisis, I would say,” remarked Jason Cohen, who has a quarter century of experience in the financial industry.
Martin tells the story here.
Last up for today, Martin also prepared a report about a new military tribute banner initiative in New Castle.
The town has launched the program to recognize veterans with five-foot-long by two-and-a-half-foot-wide professionally designed banners. They’ll be hung from poles in downtown Chappaqua and Millwood.
The plan is to have the banners hanging in time for the Memorial Day parade, and displayed through Veterans Day.
“We have seen what other towns have done and there’s a proposal that we want to make this available to the public,” Supervisor Lisa Katz said.
The program will kick off with nine or 10 military members whose names are among those on the New Castle war memorial monument.
Here’s our piece.
Have a good one,