Today in Sports History: November 21

Perhaps one of the best-recognized voices in broadcast sports, Francis (Chick) Hearn was the voice of the Los Angeles Lakers for 42 years. In 1965, he began an astounding broadcasting streak which lasted 3,338 games until a flight delay forced him to miss a game on December 16, 2000. Hearn is remembered for his unique turns of phrase – saying “this game is in the refrigerator” when a Lakers victory seemed imminent – and that a player “can’t throw a pea in the ocean” when they were shooting poorly. Hearn coined now commonplace phrases such as, slam dunk, air ball, dribble drive and ticky-tack foul while broadcasting clear, concise play-by-plays. He was the first sportscaster elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 and also the recipient of the National Sportscaster of the Year in 1959, 1965, 1987. A statue of Hearn behind a Lakers sports desk sits in front of the Staples Center main entrance and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6755 Hollywood Blvd.

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