Steve Goldstein of CBS4 reflects on the life and legacy of iconic sportscaster Hank Goldberg

MIAMI – South Florida hasn’t always been a five-team sporting region.

Until the late 1980s, there was only one team, the Miami Dolphins. Synonymous with the dolphins was the sports journalist Hank Goldberg.

he died on Monday, on his 82nd birthday, after battling kidney disease for years.

Goldberg was a pioneer in the field, culminating in his often abrasive and humorous style of sports talk. He was a trendsetter in sports talk, often calling out to people most wouldn’t dare. He served a series of time-outs for his comments and criticized the authority.

I remember one of the suspensions was paid. In typical Goldberg fashion, he walked out of the WQAM radio studio and said, “OK. Pay suspension? I call it a vacation. See you in a week.”

The first time I was on the air in South Florida was in 1994. I was doing updates on Goldberg’s show and, as you can imagine, I was nervous. After my initial report, Hank gave me a “good job”. The trust placed in me cannot be underestimated.

Goldberg was also a great horse racer. As a 20-year-old earning just enough to pay my bills, and sometimes not that much, there was no income available for betting on horses. Goldberg did his radio show at Gulfstream Park on certain days and I would go check out and get his betting tips. Well, often when he gave me a choice and didn’t win it, he asked for the losing lottery. The first time I didn’t understand why he wanted my losing ticket. He wanted to see how much I had lost for his choice of him and he returned that amount to me. He was a media star at a time when becoming was much more difficult. Back then, you couldn’t fool people, you had to have the merchandise on air. Hank did. Rest in Peace Hammer, a South Florida sports legend.