Sam DeLuca spanned two generations of New York Jets fans–first as a player, then as a broadcaster. The New York Post reports DeLuca died yesterday of pancreatic cancer. He was 75.
DeLuca spent three years during the mid 1960s as an offensive guard. However, his career was cut short in 1967 when he suffered a knee injury in a preseason game.
The unfortunate incident did provide good timing for DeLuca’s next profession.
A strike by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) led to a two-week “audition” calling Jet games on WABC Radio.
“He was so prepared,” Ross told the Post. “No bull, no stats. He just let you know what was going on and he knew when to get out.”
DeLuca’s final season calling Jets game was in 1986 alongside, now Dodgers play-by-play radio voice, Charley Steiner.
Deluca, who grew up in Brooklyn, graduated from Lafayette High School where he was friends with Dodger great Sandy Koufax and Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon.
Funeral services for DeLuca are scheduled for Saturday in Pelham.
Photo courtesy of deliafamily.net