It's a Very Simple Game
Charley Eckman
WFBR
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1968 through 1974 

WCBM and WFBR Radio Sportscaster, Color man for the  Baltimore Orioles Radio, Baltimore Colts, Baltimore Blast Indoor Soccer, Thoroughbred Horse Racing and The World Series of Handicapping and Speaker Extraordinaire

 

Charley's  refereeing career ended in the late 60's but Charley's ability to entertain an audience as well as correctly give sporting news allowed him to begin his new career as a radio sportscaster.   His full time radio sportscasting job at WCBM, Baltimore, MD was a hit.  Thousands of fans found him not your typical radio sportscaster but one who provided a little 'color' with the scores. 

Charley became one with the people of Baltimore.The audience loved him which placed him in high demand as guest speaker and master of ceremony at political functions, charity and fund raisers,  sports banquets, senior citizens functions,  corporation and government ceremonies, to name a few.  Charley became one with the people of Baltimore.  A sample of his announcing for the Baltimore Orioles by Joe Fitzgerald who writes:

"The O-ree-oles, who are still in Balti-mer, remain 3 1/2 games on top of those millionaires in Boston ...There are shades of Johnny Most in Charlie Eckman's delivery as he greets early-morning listeners to WFBR here, beginning his sports summary in bulletin-like fashion with a voice that sounds as if he just swallowed a Brillo pad. 
"It is, as he explained, a marvelous way to start the day.  "I was born and raised in this town,' he said, 'and I'm happy to say we're finally catching some of that fever you people up in Boston have had for years.  Baseball's the talk of the town right now, not the Colts, and that's never happened here before.  People are finally going nuts over the O-ree-oles."
"Baltimore's a blue-collar town, and the people here relate to this club.  You won't find the high salaries here that you guys (Red Sox) and the Yankees have, so I've tried to build up the angle, throwing in terms like 'millionaires' every chance I get."
"Eckman, who also hosts a call-in talk show in the evenings, believes Earl Weaver's high-flying squad of Middle class celebrities is no mirage, no fluke, no temporary aberration in the normal course of events in the AL east. "They're for real," he insisted.  "I'll tell you what.  You've got a lot of Irish-Catholics up in Boston, don't you?  Give them a message from Balti-mer.  Tell them they'd better start going to early mass, because their ball club's in a lot of trouble now."

"The Red Sox,  man for man, have more talent than we do.  But we're hungrier.  So don't look at the teams on paper.  That's like looking at the Racing Form.  You can only find out where the horses have been, not where they're going.  If you want to know where the O-ree-oles are going, ask anyone in Baltimore.  They're going all the way!"

Fred Neil, co-author of Charley's book, It's a Very Simple Game, wrote about John Goodspeed's view of Charley's speaking ability. "Eckman is more of a professional speaker than many sports fans may imagine.

"Eckman is more of a professional speaker than many sports fans may imagine.  He is a popular after-dinner performer.  Success at that trade requires rather more ability with the spoken language than your average sports fan demonstrates when he mouths off in a saloon....he avoids the cliche's that characterize most sportscasts and, more overwhelmingly, newspaper sports writing.  He speaks the jargon of players, coaches and know-it-all-fans --- which differs considerably from the jargon of standard sports writing and broadcasting.  And, unlike many Baltimore-area speakers, who 'choke up' in public, Eckman can ad-lib almost endlessly ---in organized paragraphs and complete sentences that are not broken in the middle by pauses....and he's not too technical."

When  WJZ-TV welcomed him as a sports commentator, Charley was thrilled.  Since WCBM held the contract for the NFL Baltimore Colts, Charley provided color for the play by play.  In the 70's, Charley  and retired Colt great, Artie Donovan, held court with a weekly radio show called  "Mayhem on 33rd Street",  prior to Colt football games.  When Charley moved from WCBM to WFBR, Baltimore, he began doing the color for the Baltimore Orioles and the Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League. 
Sportscasting was not the only activity Charley was involved in.  The world of horse racing and handicapping became one of his favorite pastimes.  He had the distinct honor - having two horses;  "Motormouth Eckman" and "It's A Very Simple Game" named after him.  Since Charley was considered an "expert in racing" he was asked to teach Thoroughbred Handicapping at colleges and started the World Series of Handicapping at Penn National Racetrack in Pennsylvania. Charley also promoted the new Baltimore Clippers ice hockey team.
With a speaking career, Charley felt alive again.  He became a new personality requiring less physical activity but using all the learned sports knowledge he had accumulated these 46 years.  

We begin Charley's new career in 1968.   

Presentation by Maryland Professional Baseball Players Association:


January 12, 1968 - Presentation by Maryland Professional Baseball Players Association:   TOPS IN SPORTS Banquet..."Native Baltimorean and prominent area sportscaster, top referee in NBA 1947-54.  Coached Ft Wayne Pistons to NBA Western Division Championship, 1955, 1956 and to first place tie, 1957.  Refereed Major college tournaments including NIT, and NCAA. Minor League baseball player and umpire and major league scout for over 20 years."  

Charley Eckman and "Turn on CHARLIE ECKMAN for the Other Side of Sports
"Charley Eckman and
Maryland Comptroller,
Louis Goldstein" 


January 25, 1968,  "Turn on CHARLIE ECKMAN for the Other Side of Sports, Eyewitness News,
WJZ-TV, Channel 13" The Morning Sun Paper,  Baltimore, MD

 WJZ-TV announces Charley Eckman and Neal Eskridge to the staff January 25, 1968 - " WJZ-TV announces Charley Eckman and Neal Eskridge to the staff." "Eskridge and Eckman, while continuing to work in other media, will appear frequently and separately on Channel 13's news reports.  Their television commentaries will probe, analyze and criticize the local and national sports scene and will be telecast exclusively on WJZ-TV.  Eckman is an accomplished after-dinner speaker. Both also have been sports commentators for Radio Station WCBM for several years." News American, Baltimore, MD.

 

Cholly Be-Bop
March 8, 1968 -  The Charlotte Observer, by Mel Derrick "Cholly Be-Bop....' Hello' said Charley Eckman and the Coliseum quivered all 20,000 feet of it.  That's the way it is when Charley Eckman talks.  Twelve years ago, Dick Pierce, then with the Observer, compared Eckman's speaking voice to a choir of Chinese firecrackers going off in an empty steel drum.  No better description has ever been coined. 

Charley Eckman was at the ACC Tournament Thursday, just like he has been for 14 of the leagues' 15 years.  Only this time he was sitting on the sidelines at press row, not out there in the middle whistling fouls.  Eckman works for Station WCBM in Baltimore now.  "Radio AND Television," he said.  "It ain't no yo-yo job."
"I miss it," admitted Eckman as NC State was wearing down Maryland, 63-54 in the opener.  "Naw, not the game.  The people.  I miss the people.  The game's impossible.  Five-second rule, fingers over the rim. Yeah, fingers over the rim.  The new dunk rule.  Anytime you legislate against a man's skills, like the dunk rule does, you're taking away from the game.  To me, the dunk is like the home run in baseball."
"If Charley Eckman developed a motto in his years of chasing basketballs up and down courts all over the country, it is this: 'Life Is For The Living.'  He's 46 years old now, with two grandchildren, but he still worries he might miss some action somewhere.  He looks especially glumly at a fellow official who supposedly has saved all his officiating fees for the past 10 years, a matter of some $232,000 including interest.  "A guy with that much money," said Eckman, "never had a good time."  "This is my first winter off in 30 years."
Charley loved the races


 

 


April 28, 1969 Charley loved the races
Charley Speaks at Harford Junior CollegeHere he stands with the Pimlico winning horse, Jo Marel;
owner, Hazel Scoville; trainer, Stratford Patterson and others.


1969 - Charley Speaks at Harford Junior College
(HJC), Bel Air, MD.  The Owlet newspaper.

 

 

 
"Charley entertaining
"Charley entertaining
friends at a function"
 

GABBY VISITS GOOD 'OL YUMA
August 6, 1969 -  "GABBY VISITS GOOD 'OL YUMA ....Color man for the Baltimore Colts Radio Team"  "Mr. Charles Eckman dropped by the office of the Yuma (Arizona) Daily Sun yesterday and those who met him
for the first time quickly realized
how he won his nickname: 'GABBY.'

"He came here from San Diego, where his current employer, The Baltimore Colts, had demolished the San Diego Chargers Saturday night...26-6. Eckman is beginning his first season as the color man for the Baltimore Colt's radio team."
"I always liked Yuma, and I would like to come back some day." When asked when he thought he would retire,  he responded by saying, "RETIRE? I haven't ever worked yet!"... Now that's a man who loves his job." 
The Sun, Yuma, AZ by Joe Heath.

MEMORIAL DAY PARADE, 1969 - Charley Eckman, Master of Ceremonies for Glen Burnie Parade.  

September 21, 1969-"How to really drive your wife nuts on Sunday." WCBM Colts Radio ...Don't watch the Colts on TV, watch them on TV and listen to them on the radio with Artie Donovan and Charley Eckman, at the same time ...Charley Eckman is a pro...but his sportscasting is more like what you'd hear over a bar.  He's got the inside lowdown on the team, the players and what's going on under the jerseys."

J.Suter Kegg, Cumberland Evening Times, "Last year as I sat in the coffee shop of a motel in Dallas on the day the Baltimore Colts were scheduled to meet the Cowboys in a pre-season game.  "I don't know anything about this game of football," he said, "but you can bet I'm going to have a lot of fun."  Only half of the statement was true.  As color man on the 1969 radio broadcasts of the Colt games, Charley had fun, all right, but as it turned out he knew more than he professed.  Many people didn't care for his comments, many did.  I enjoyed him if, for no other reason, he was different.  Most of the time his remarks were humorous and personal.  It was a welcome change of pace from the color men these days who try to be so technical."

Charley Eckman and Art Donovan"PENALTY!..A penalty pay off that is...made by the stars of WMAR-TV's Mayhem on 33rd Street.  Charley Eckman and Art Donovan, (Who predict the weeks Colt scores).  The Maryland Gazette, Nov 10, 1969

Opening of Charley Eckman's Discount Liquors
September 25, 1969-Opening of Charley Eckman's Discount Liquors, Glen Burnie, MD.  

 


1970's and WFBR Radio, Baltimore

Paul Wayne Conner.
February 24, 1970 - The arrival of Charley and Wilma's
third grandchild, Paul Wayne Conner. 

Baltimore's most popular and controversial sports announcers
"New Identity - Charlie Eckman, one of Baltimore's most popular and controversial sports announcers, signs a contract with Harry Shriver (left), general manager of radio station WFBR.  Eckman will serve as the station's sports director and be on the air four times each day." News American Photo by Vernon Price.


Copied from It's a Very Simple Game, the life and times of Charley Eckman 

"In 1970, Eckman jumped to WFBR radio for a $50-a-week raise.  His gravelly voice and his barbs at the sporting community - and his malapropism -- were legendary.  wrote Annapolis reporter Paul Girsdansky, The Sunday Capital some 17 years later.

"Charlie was the biggest personality in Baltimore" said Harry Shriver, general manager of WFBR radio, who hired Eckman in 1970. 'Everybody knew Charlie Eckman...." "He was a free spirit,' says Harry Shriver.  "There have been moments when I wanted to strangle him.  He's in a business that's heavily regulated and very controllable. Even if Eckman sounded like a loose cannon on the air, he was in command of himself and his, ahem, colorful language."  
"Charley told WCBM management to "Call a Cab". At WFBR, Eckman along with the infamous Johnny Walker has as Eckman puts it, "Told it like it is."   Eckman berates the cry-babies, exalts the greats of sports and delivers a plug for a team that's five games in the lead.  You either "love me or hate me".
  Howard Cosell, no favorite of Baltimore sports fans, is the constant target of Eckman barbs.  Maryland Gazette, Annapolis, MD  

As Hal Burdett of the Baltimore News American put it...

feisty Charley with the tonsils that won't quit"As Baltimore as beer and crab cakes, feisty Charley with the tonsils that won't quit is the oratorical equivalent of a bull in a china shop. You've GOT to listen.  Maybe it's because he's always belting out a barrage of words that could have been lifted straight from the dialogue of Damon Runyon.  "WHAT YOU HEAR- IS WHAT HE IS - energetic, enthusiastic and always a showman."    

Charlie Eckman
July 9, 1970  - "Charlie Eckman
will address Patapsco Democratic Club
."

"Talking First  Love of Charley Eckman", Cumberland Evening Times, by J. Suter Kegg.  January 20, 1971.  "ONCE UPON A TIME, many, many years ago there lived a little boy by the name of Charley Eckman.  He was so quiet that unless you saw him in a crowd you would never guess that he was present.  Sounds like a fairy tale?  It is, because if there was any adage Charley found fault with as a youngster, it was the one about 'little boys should be seen, not heard.'
"Eckman has always believed that a man with something to say should say it.  Charley has practiced this for years.  In doing so he has irritated a lot of people.  He has also found a lot of people who agree with him.  That's Charley Eckman - garrulous, opinionated, free and easy.  You don't talk with him, you listen.  Neither do you need a hearing aid because when he talks - and that's all the time - it's like a bugler in the Army awakening the troops with reveille."
"But don't get the idea that Charley's a clown.  A fast talker, yes! - and quick with the quips.  But he knows sports, has a fantastic memory, owns a storehouse of humorous stories and knows how to tell them.  Those attending the dinner of the Queen City Brewing Company's dealer conference this evening at the Ali Ghan Shrine Country Club will find this out in a hurry.  Charley is toastmaster for the affair......."
"Like the immortal Babe Ruth who couldn't remember names and called everyone 'Kid,' Charley's pet greeting is, 'Hi-ya, Coach!'  I've seen and talked with him at numerous football, basketball and baseball games as well as at race tracks (he has a weakness for horses) and he has yet to call me by name.  But that's all right.  I always wanted to be a coach anyhow and his salutation makes me feel important."
"Eckman knows his basketball and he is equally outstanding as a public speaker or toastmaster.  His amusing stories, serious messages and patented Eckman delivery will make tonight one to remember for those who will be hearing him for the first time."


"Trenton Reunion" "Trenton Reunion" 

October 28, 1970 -
"Eckman to MC Ted Levin Memorial Dinner"CHICKEN PIE" wins
at Blue Crest North, Pikesville, MD.

March 25, 1971 -
"CHICKEN PIE" wins
'The Charlie Eckman Purse"

at Bowie Racetrack, Bowie, MD.

April 9, 1971 - Speaker 44th annual Communion Breakfast Baltimore Post Office.  

"Maryland Governor Mandel
"Maryland Governor Mandel
with Charley Eckman and friends." 

April 27, 1971 - Speaker Father's Night social at the Baltimore Academy of the Visitation.

Charlie Eckman who was the master of ceremonies
May 10, 1971 - Kathy Harrison, 8, Miss Baseball of 1971 for the Marley Little League, is held up by Charlie Eckman who was the master of ceremonies at the Marley Little League opening day festivities last week.  Kathy attends the Marley Special School."

Charley attended Director of Health Affairs for the Catholic Center
Charley attended Director of Health Affairs for the Catholic Center, Baltimore Halloween Party for the aged. "It was a wonderful turn out because of Eckman's support" wrote in a letter of appreciation to Charley.

Charley Eckman was
August 6, 1971 - "Labor Honors
Mimi Di Pietro,
Bob O'Leary and
Jim Stankowski at Seafarers Port of Call ....Charley Eckman was
master of ceremonies."

August 8, 1971 - "News American Magazine,  What advice would you give to young people living in Baltimore?  The advice I would give to any young person is that you should get an education, a college degree, if possible.  And, secondly, if you can't afford to get it, or if you have conditions similar to mine, where there wasn't any money, I think you should get the most out of your ability, whatever ability you have."

WFBR"Mine was sports.  Even though I wasn't a good professional baseball player, I tried it.  In basketball, I became a referee.  I got the most out of what ability I had.  As a result, I became a sportscaster, and so forth.  The main thing is to take advantage of what abilities you have.  You have got to have some beliefs, you got to have guts and you got to believe in yourself...."

August 26 - "Charlie Eckman to be guest on 'This and That'  Colorful Sports Director for WFBR (Baltimore) will be featured on the regular Saturday morning feature of WTHU. When Charlie Eckman talks, people listen and sponsors line up to advertise on his shows.  Charlie knows the products and sells as well as he knows the subject of sports he covers each day, and in his vernacular, "there just ain't no way to get a better deal."

Charley and John Kennelly
Charley and John Kennelly

"During a recent visit to the Oyster Bay for dinner and a few drinks, Charlie was heard to remark upon leaving for the studio to do the Orioles pre-game show with John Kennelly, 'I don't know what we're going to talk about tonight, but it don't make no difference anyway; I can talk about anything he wants to talk about." And without question, this is precisely what makes Charlie Eckman the greatest and perhaps the hottest broadcasting property in Baltimore...." Members of the Crown Central Petroleum Corporation sales team surround Henry Rosenberg Jr

September 2, 1971 -
A letter of thanks for Charlie's
support from the
Linthicum Youth Athletic Baseball teams


November 1971 - "Star Performers ...Members of the Crown Central Petroleum Corporation sales team surround Henry Rosenberg Jr., (third from left) at a banquet last night at Friendship Airport International Inn.  From left are Paul Blair of the Orioles, John Unitas of the colts, Mike Curtis of the Colts, Charlie Eckman, sportscaster and former basketball referee and coach, and Brooks Robinson of the Orioles.   

Guest Speaker at Quarterly Meeting of the Maryland State Funeral Directors Assoc.
March 20, 1972 - Guest Speaker at Quarterly Meeting of the Maryland State Funeral Directors Assoc.

April 24, 1972 - Baltimore News-American, "What's Good About Baltimore?  You know what's great about Baltimore - the warmth of the town.  You might not get rich here, but you're never poor.  There's always somebody that's in your corner. Baltimore is crabs and beer, going out to the ballpark, eating lunch at the track or at any of the great restaurants in town, and it's a great place for raising a family.  It's a big city with a small-town flavor, a casual life, people getting together and making a good life.  If I die tomorrow, this city owes me nothing." by Charley Eckman.

Charlie Eckman, the hottest sports broadcasting property in town.
June 11, 1972 -  Baltimore Sun Magazine. Photos by Paul Hutchins and story by Frederic Kelly..... "Loud, Brash and Somebody"...."Charlie announcing on WFBR and WJZ-TV Orioles Pre-game show..... Charlie Eckman, the hottest sports broadcasting property in town. He can - and does - talk about anything anyone wants to talk about.  More to the point, he talks about anything HE wants to talk about.  Not long after he broke into broadcasting with WCBM in 1965 a friend invited him to a Jewish circumcision.  That evening he mentioned it on the air noting that it was "the first time I ever saw a clippin' without a 15 yard penalty."

"Loud, brash and flamboyant - he has taken to showing up at WFBR's studios in various colored lounge suits and stunning Italian knit body shirts - Eckman excites the extremes.  He amuses some and annoys others.  But, then, it has never been his intention to blend in with his environment.  "I'm the kinda guy who says what he thinks." WFBR's studios

"Eckman is one of the few sportscasters in town who does not rely heavily on scripts. He depends instead on his quick wit and knowledge of sports to pull him through."

"The phone began ringing almost as soon as Eckman was off the air.  So far on this particular day he had a guy talking about the Colts' quarterback problems, another wishing Earl Monroe was back with the Bullets and now this lady from Roland Park who wanted to know about the third race at Pimlico. "What about it darling?" rasps Eckman.  "Did King Flame win?" the lady asks.  "Ain't no way, sweetheart!" booms Eckman, Then turning solicitous: "Whatzamatter, honey, your old man have a fin on King Flame?"

"How about it, coach?"Raucous laughter.  Listening. Grinning. "Sure, darlin', you're welcome."  Hanging up only to pick up the phone again and again ....Charley goes on the air giving the race results, breaking for a commercial all the way. "How about it, coach? You thirsty: Well, you sure know what to do about that, don't cha?  Get on over there to your favOrite waterin' hole for a nice, big frosty glass of everyone's favOrite beer.  National Bo...Mmmmmm....mmmmm! Yes-sir! That's living'.

"The question that always puzzles people when they first hear Charlie is why in the name of God anybody would hire him." says Fred Neil, former news director of WCBM and now a press aide to Mayor Schaefer, "The answer, of course, is because he's a personality.  He's not going to win any prizes in a speech contest, but he's going to cause a reaction.  Like him or not, people are going to listen to him."

"Money ain't everythin', insists Eckman.  He has cut down his speaking engagements ("I used to do 50-60 a year for a cigar and a thank you"), even though he could probably add considerably to his income.  Moreover, he has turned down several lucrative offers to leave Baltimore, the most recent a contract for $70,000 from WCBS-TV in New York."   
"Why should I leave?" asks Eckman.  "Baltimore's my home. I got everythin' I want here.  My family is all raised.  I got a great job.  I dress well and I eat well.  What more is there?  Why should I go someplace else and start all over again?  Here, my name means somethin'.  I'm somebody.  And in my book that sure as hell beats bein' nobody."

 (left to right) chairman Charlie Eckman, Tony DeAngelo, Bud Palino and Leonard Fruman
July 17, 1973 - "St. Elizabeth's 16-18 year soccer team won the National Championship and is going to be recognized with a dinner in its honor at the Brentwood Inn on Aug. 1.  Making preparations are (left to right) chairman Charlie Eckman,  Tony DeAngelo, Bud Palino and Leonard Fruman.  The committee, including others, is at work to turn the spotlight on the youngsters for their outstanding achievement. Photo by James Laily,  News American, Baltimore, MD  

Left to right, are Eckman, Bob Thumma, Frank Lewandowski, Ray Madjewski, Pete Caring and City Councilman Dominis (Mimi) DiPietro.August 1973 - "The University of Baltimore national champion soccer team was honored with a dinner at the Brentwood Inn put on by Charlie Eckman, sports director of WFBR.  Left to right, are Eckman, Bob Thumma, Frank Lewandowski, Ray Madjewski, Pete Caring and City Councilman Dominis (Mimi) DiPietro.  Joe Czernikowski and "Soccer Associates" hosted the awards presentations. (Photo by Dick Tomlison, News American)

Charley Eckman with friends
"Charley Eckman with friends.
John Steadman is second from right. 

"Soccer Champs Honored in High Style" by John F. Steadman, The News-American. "Because Charlie Eckman believed a national championship shouldn't be taken for granted, a party of extraordinary taste and distinction was held last night to salute an assemblage of deserving young men- the St. Elizabeth's soccer team.  The Rev. Francis Childress, pastor of St. Elizabeth's said "There is no way an evening like this could be duplicated.  This team brought honor to the City of Baltimore and to St. Elizabeth's parish and I don't have the words to express my gratitude to Charlie Eckman for putting it on in the fashion he has.  It was a party they won't soon forget - mainly because of the personal way it was arranged and the sincerity it conveyed."

Miss Eareckson, paralyzed from the neck down since she was 17 draws with a pencil between her teeth as she demonstrates her skills to Charlie Eckman November 8, 1973 Randallstown, MD, The Times Newspaper.  "Profiles in Courage" Banquet to feature Joni Eareckson.  Special guest at the Maryland Cystic Fibrosis Chapter's special dinner program will be Joni Eareckson, an artist formerly of Woodlawn.  Miss Eareckson, paralyzed from the neck down since she was 17 draws with a pencil between her teeth as she demonstrates her skills to Charlie Eckman (left) and Jim Palmer who will also participate in the dinner program."

Sports Boosters of Maryland, 23rd Anniversary Banquet
December 1973 - "Sports Boosters of Maryland, 23rd Anniversary Banquet.  Exceptional Eckman ...Colorful and controversial Charley Eckman, Sports Director of Radio Station WFBR, received the 'Outstanding Sports Reporter of the Year' award.  

Personal letter from Frank Cashen, Executive Vice-President of the Baltimore Orioles to Charley:  "Dear Coach, I understand that you are going to be honored at the Annual Sports boosters Banquet. Since I will be away at the Winter Meetings, I wanted to extend to you my personal congratulations in advance.  They simply couldn't have picked a better man.  All best personal regards."

January 1974- " Personality of the Month"...Charley Eckman,
January 1974-   " Personality of the Month"...Charley Eckman, WFBR-Radio Baltimore, Maryland.  "Loud and gruff, brash and bold...ask anybody in Baltimore who that describes and they'll tell you ....Charley Eckman!  He's WFBR's Mr. Sports, with a talent to coin a phrase and call a play.  With a sound sports background - he was a baseball minor leaguer, a scout for the Phillies and the Braves for 25 years, and an avid follower of the ponies - Charley's an authority on almost anything that takes place on a field, a track or in a gym.  And his flamboyant style that endears him to Baltimore is not a put on.  He's always been that way.  ...Maybe he was only a minor league ballplayer, but he sure proved his ability by becoming a major league sportscaster and human being!   MOVIE MIRROR Magazine 

March 14, 1974 - "With love or hate, Charlie does a great selling job".. People either hate him or love him, but they listen to him"  He's a great salesman.  So potent a salesman is Charlie Eckman that sponsors are waiting in line for space on his four-time daily radio show.  "I talk the average guy's language," Mr. Eckman says. "I'm more or less the guy on the street."  Baltimore Sun Papers by James Grant

Charley Eckman spends an exciting night
"Charley Eckman spends an exciting night
at the Races
with Baltimore Mayor
Thomas D'Alesandro and Dominic Puocci."

Calling the shots as only former NBA referee Charley Eckman can
"Calling the shots as only former NBA referee Charley Eckman can.  Charley spared no gestures nor jokes at Thursday's Chamber of Commerce dinner.  Charley is sports announcer for WFBR radio Baltimore and a veteran of WJZ-TV."  (Eastern Shore Times)

May 16, 1974 - "Colorful sportscaster tells it like it is".."Charley Eckman told the Chamber of Commerce dinner audience how a basketball player's case of "diareer" (Diarrhea) won Eckman the title of NBA Coach of the year."  

"Along with comments on the strength of the Orioles, Colts and Redskins, Eckman told his diarrhea story:  Imagine a guy 280 pounds with diarrhea...so all through the game I'm pulling him out and the fans are hollering, "pull him out....Get him in."  "We're losing 96-95 and old Faust (Larry) is having a heck of a night.  We got a minute left to play and Larry runs by the bench and says, "let me outta here."  It didn't take too much brains on my part ...I said, "Quick Hoobrey (Houbregs), come on in for Faust."
"Hoobrey goes in, I'm hollering, "throw the ball to Hoobrey." Hoobrey shot a hook.  Two points. I'm one on top.  The Celtics shoot - miss - we rebound - we kill the 24 second clock. Back goes Hoobrey - another long hook.  Seconds to play.  He goes up to the board, lays it up but it goes out of bounds.  The gun goes off and bing - we've won by one point." 
"The fans are going crazy. They're hollering. What a smart coach." I'm waving at 'em and all because this big bum had to go to the toilet." So a sports editor approaches Eckman and asks: "Wait a minute Charley, I've been writing sports for 46 years and I've never seen a greater substitution.  How do you think so fast?  What makes you tick?" 
"Eckman's unabashed reply: "Uncle Ben, it's a very simple game.  When you gotta go, you gotta go."
Eastern Shore Times, MD

September 14, 1974 - "The Woody Handley's Inn Purse".  Charley Eckman, Woody Handley, owner of Woody's Inn and group.

Philadelphia 60th Sportswriters Association Banquet 1974-"Philadelphia 60th Sportswriters Association Banquet", with speakers Sandy Koufax, Elston Howard, Dolph Schayes and many others.. But guess who got the laugh of the night midst all the hero's? The popular basketball blind tom ...Charley Eckman. The hilarious Charley received applause far louder than any whistle he ever blew."Philadelphia newspaper by Morris Frank   

Charlie Eckman: Chasin', Reffin', and Sellin
October 13, 1974 -
"Charlie Eckman: Chasin', Reffin', and Sellin'"...
News American.  Famous Baltimoreans Look Back
News American ...cartoon by Stoke Walkey. on Their Teenage Years.

"Nobody's neutral about Charley Eckman, who has a style of his own, whether calling a game, refereeing or belting out a beer commercial." News American ...cartoon by Stoke Walkey. 



October 20, 1974 -  " MAGNIFICENT MOTORMOUTH"..."Take a popularity poll in Baltimore and it's 10 to 1 you come up with Oriole star Brooks Robinson, buxom stripper Blaze Starr and the Magnificent Motormouth - sportscaster Charley Eckman - known as Baltimore's Mr. Sports. As Baltimore as beer and crab cakes, feisty Charley with the tonsils that won't quit is the oratorical equivalent of a bull in a china shop. You've GOT to listen."

"Charley's appreciation of the Baltimore area has grown immensely after all the years of traveling as both referee and coach.  His radio and television work have brought him a huge following.  "I get lots of offers to do more television, but to tell you the truth I like radio better," he says.  "You look around and you see the guys in radio last a lot longer than the guys in television. The reason behind his appeal is as clear as a gopher pitch right down the heart of the strike zone.  "I can get right down to what the guy in the street is thinking," Charley explains. "I'm the guy who was brought up on the streets and I don't try to be anything else.  I'd go over in maybe three cities besides Baltimore-Philly, Los Angeles and New York.  I don't think I'd be too big in Boston." "They can't copy my style because I ad-lib it.  I take one glance at sports or ad copy and I'm ready to do a show.  I ad-lib everything but the score." Baltimore News American by Hal Burdett

Motormouth the Race Horse..."Is Motormouth Eckman running anywhere these days?"  asked Johns Hopkins News-letter staff.  "Oh, yeah, but he's not mine.  Old man Leatherbury, before he died , he said, "I'm gonna name a horse after you, as fast as you talk, gonna name him Motormouth." I said, "that's fine, I don't give a damn what you call him, as long as you spell my last name right." He's running up at Garden State, he's worth about $8000.  He got hurt, then somebody else claimed him, and he hasn't been the same horse.  He's won a couple races, Oh yeah."

Charley with good friends Hawk and Lil O' Brian
Charley with good friends Hawk and Lil O' Brian