DETROIT – Metro Detroit bid a fond farewell to one of its longtime radio friends Friday as Frank Beckmann retired after 48 years behind the microphone.
Just shy of five decades, the one constant voice from the golden tower of the Fisher Building and WJR was that of Beckmann. He started out doing sports before he branched into talk radio.
Beckmann said he’s proud of having moved home plate from the old Tiger Stadium to Comerica Park when it open, but still, his favorite was spending 33 years in the Big House broadcast booth announcing Wolverine Football, including a memorable national championship.
“It was a tremendous part of my life and my career,” Beckmann said. “I guess I’ll forever be full of Blue Blood in my veins is the bottom line, because you can’t be associated with those great people all those years and not have it sink in and become part of you.”
Throughout his career, Beckmann is the only person to broadcast games for all four of Detroit’s major sports teams -- the Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings and Lions.
In 2003, WJR approached him to do his own local talk show.
“I don’t even realize how much I’m going to miss it yet. I don’t think I realize the depth of it,” Beckmann said. “I’ve loved this job. It’s been me all these years and now suddenly I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning and do whatever I want this weekend and, better yet, on Monday, I can do it then too.”
Beckmann is in the College Football Hall of Fame, Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and has a long list of accolades.
“I promise I’ve gotten more return for doing this job than I ever could have given and I’ve tried my hardest to give,” Beckmann said. “Thank you for the kind words and everyone who has listened to the radio show or broadcasts.”
There are rumors floating around town about who is going to replace him on Monday. Beckmann said no one has discussed it with him.