ELECTED MEMBERS
   
Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted
MARTIN "MARTY" GLICKMAN

Field: Media
Inducted:
Country: United States
Born: August 14, 1917 in Bronx, New York

One of America’s premier sports broadcasters for five decades, Marty Glickman was the radio and television playby- play voice of the National Football League’s New York Giants from 1948 to 1971; the American Football League’s New York Jets from 1972 to 1979 and 1987 to 1989; the National Basketball Association’s New York Knickerbockers from 1946 to 1970; pre-game and post-game shows for the (Brooklyn) Dodgers and Yankees for 22 years; and Yonkers Raceway for twelve years.

Glickman, whose voice was heard in movie houses throughout the world for 15 years as a sports narrator for the theatrical newsreels Paramount News and News of the Day, was virtually a non-stop on-air reporter. He was heard or seen, or both, as a commentator for major track and field meets, a broad variety of collegiate sporting events, Major League baseball, horse racing, sports highlights and interview shows, and events ranging from six-day bike races and lacrosse to skiing and water polo.

Glickman has received numerous honors and awards through the years, among them the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 1991, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 1992, and the American Sportscasters Hall of Fame in 1993.

A few years before Glickman embarked on his successful broadcasting career, the one-time New York James High School track and football phenom and Syracuse University freshman was
named to the U.S. Olympic Team, selected to compete in the 4 x 100-Meter Relay at the 1936 Berlin Games. The United States was—literally—running away with the sprint events in Berlin when, shortly before the relay trial heats, 18-year-old Glickman and relay
teammate Sam Stoeller, a University of Michigan senior, were summoned by their coaches. To the astonishment of the entire U.S. Olympic track squad, Glickman and Stoeller were withdrawn from the race and replaced by a pair of teammates, Ralph Metcalfe and Jesse Owens. Owens had already captured three gold medals and Metcalfe a silver medal. The newly configured U.S. relay team won the 4 x 100 in World record time, but the substitution of runners
was never rationally explained.

The official explanation was that the Germans had reportedly concealed a pair of “super” sprinters and held them out of competition until the relay event. Therefore, more experienced runners were necessary to replace collegians Glickman and Stoeller. But to no one’s surprise, there were no “secret weapons” in Germany’s Olympic arsenal. Hitler’s best could manage only a
third-place bronze medal in the 4 x 100 relay.

Observers pointed out that both replaced American speedsters were Jewish. They questioned why a country, a host country with an unsuccessful track team, would hide its fastest runners for just one event. Germany did not win a single gold or silver medal in
any of the running events, while the United States captured six golds and four silvers before the 4 x 100 relay. Pundits suggested that perhaps U.S. officials made the relay switch as a token of Hitler-appeasing diplomacy. American track officials steadfastly denied this scenario, yet never offered a plausible explanation.

Immediately following the Berlin Games, the U.S. track team competed at international meets in Paris and London. Glickman was reinstated to the relay team, but Stoeller, disappointed by the Berlin snub, returned home. In London, the U.S. relay foursome––Jesse Owens, Ralph Metcalfe, Frank Wykoff and Glickman––ran the 4x100 yard relay in a world “best” mark of 37.4. (Because the race was run in ‘yards’, not ‘meters’, the IAAF makes a distinction between a “record” and a “best” .)

In 1998, William J. Hyde, president of the United States Olympic Committee, citing: “great evidence of anti-semitism was there”, presented Glickman and Stoeller (posthumously–he died in 1983) with a special plaque: “in lieu of the gold medals they didn’t win”.

Glickman’s autobiography (with Stan Isaacs), Fastest Kid On The Block, was published in 1996.

 
© 1996- International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
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