Shelby Whitfield, a former broadcaster for the Washington Senators, died Thursday, February 5 at a rehabilitation facility in Jackson, New Jersey. Whitfield was 77.
According to a report from The Washington Post, Whitfield passed away due to complications resulting from diabetes.
Whitfield got his start as a sports broadcaster while in the Army, which he joined in 1955. After joining, he attended a school for broadcasting, and eventually became the sports director for what would eventually be known as the Armed Forces Network. Even after leaving the Army in the late 50s, Whitfield stayed on as a civilian broadcaster.
In the late 60s, Whitfield spent two years as a broadcaster for the Senators between 1969 and 1970. Shortly after, he hosted a local radio show on WWDC-AM called “Sports Roundtable” before going on to become the first sports director of AP Radio in 1974, where he stayed for seven years.
His career didn’t stop there, however. Whitfield became the sports director for ABC Radio in 1981, where he stayed until retirement in 1997. During his years with ABC, he oversaw sports coverage for many sporting events, including the Olympics.
In 1991, Whitfield co-authored a book with famed broadcaster Howard Cosell titled “What’s Wrong With Sports?” The book looked at a wide range of controversial topics, including college athletics and corruption, drugs in sports, and more.
Withfield also authored a book in 1974 called “Kiss It Goodbye,” which follows the Senators in their final years in Washington, a tumultuous period for the team.
Whitfield is survived by his wife, Lora Napierski Whitfield, two siblings, four children, and five grandchildren.