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  • Look at Mills! Look at Mills!

    It is with great sadness that I inform you that Dick Bank passed away on Sunday, February 23rd from heart failure at the age of 90 at his home in Los Angeles. More details to come later.

  • #2
    One of the founders of the Los Angeles Track Club almost 60 years ago.

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    • #3
      That's sad to hear..

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      • #4
        a few years back, when Tokyo & Mills was a topic of conversation here, Dick found out about it and sent us a letter

        https://web.archive.org/web/20150827...1964-race-call

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        • #5
          That's great...

          After the third day, I found a message when I returned to the Okura Hotel: call Dick Auerbach at the New Otani.

          He was having dinner on the top floor.

          I said it was Dick Bank, returning his call.

          “I have some bad news for you.”

          My father had had a heart attack in April 1961, and was confined to our home. He was my first thought. Of course, there would have been a call from my mother.

          “From today on, you are no longer working for NBC.”

          My response: “So what's the bad news?”

          He was an oily guy who didn’t have the guts to tell it to my face.

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          • #6
            Of course, many will remember Dick's full-on role in the T&F coverage of CBS in the late 60's and early 70's with Jack Whitaker and Ralph Boston.

            Step into the time machine for the 1969 Hawaiian Invitational here: http://www.historicfilms.com/h6kb

            Besides Dick on camera about 4 minutes in, the show featured a Lindgren-Prefontaine 2 mile duel, shown in its entirety with Dick's race call throughout.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wamego relays champ View Post
              Step into the time machine for the 1969 Hawaiian Invitational here: http://www.historicfilms.com/h6kb
              Thanks for that video - it was really fun to watch.

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              • #8
                I've seen the 2 mile race before but not the entire meet. Very cool. All seems so innocent and charming. Just as i remember that era.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gh View Post
                  a few years back, when Tokyo & Mills was a topic of conversation here, Dick found out about it and sent us a letter

                  https://web.archive.org/web/20150827...1964-race-call
                  Great post.

                  So many of our current TV announcers seem not to know what is going on until it comes up on their stat screens. I can imagine the call today: "And Clarke comes back to pass Gammoudi and take the gold ... and now they've given the win to Mills ..."

                  This got me looking into Auerbach's credentials. He produced summer and winter Olympics, football bowl games, baseball, and skiing among others. Usually, I would say awards aren't necessarily the best measure of talent, but it's interesting that he garnered one Emmy nomination (1976 Rose Bowl) and no Emmys for all those efforts. His contemporary, Roone Arledge, won 10 Emmys and had 11 other nominations and a Lifetime Achievement award over at ABC.



                  Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants

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                  • #10
                    In 1971, Dick Bank tried to convince me that I should go to the European Championships that year. At the time, I was an avid fan, going to meets all over the US, but it never occurred to me to go to a meet in Europe, other than the Olympic Games. Indeed, before the Munich Games of '72, I had never even set foot in Europe.

                    Then I read the results of the '71 Euros in Helsinki, and particularly the sensational 5000 and 10,000 races won by Juha Väätäinen. I regretted not having taken Dick's advice, and vowed not to make that mistake again. I attended the next five European championships, and have attended dozens of other meets in Europe over the years. At some point, Dick stopped going to track meets, and I haven't seen him in decades. But his passing reminds me that it was he who expanded my track horizons in a very important way. Thank you, Dick. RIP.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gh View Post
                      a few years back, when Tokyo & Mills was a topic of conversation here, Dick found out about it and sent us a letter

                      https://web.archive.org/web/20150827...1964-race-call
                      Sounds like the type of person I would have loved to meet. RIP to a true track fan+. Though NBC might have been the worst around that time, ABC really stood out with some of their 1968 Oly coverage. Watching the BBC and ABC takes on the 1500m final, should be "must watch" for all potential track announcers.

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                      • #12
                        Obit by Scott Reid (Orange County Register) linked now on home page.

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                        • #13
                          Dick was T&FN's first HS Editor

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gh View Post
                            Dick was T&FN's first HS Editor
                            Yes he was, gh, and I had the great privilege and honor to meet him as a high school senior. I strongly believe he encouraged the meet promoters of one of the California Invitational meets to invite me to the meet after one of their main stars pulled out in the last week. I got the notice that I was entered in the meet just days before graduating. The promoters only sent one plane ticket to my high school and none for my coach. It was my second airplane flight ever and took some 5+ hours to land in LA where I was personally met by Dick Bank. He drove me to the meet hotel and brought me up to the hospitality room where I met some of my idols and big names. He then picked me up at the hotel the next evening and drove me to the meet. I had no idea who was in the race or where and when to warmup. He ran onto the track after my race in which I set a national high school record and helped me get away from the other reporters and go under the stands to call my coach at home (at midnight). He placed the call and put in his own dime. We then went over to the private party after the meet at the promoters large home and he stayed near me to introduce me to the "big benefactors" and officials drinking their cocktails as I drank my coke cola. The next morning he picked me up from my hotel gave me all of the newspapers with my story in the headlines and drove me to the airport. We shook hands and I thanked him for watching out and taking care of me in such a strange environment. His parting comment was , Good luck in college and you were a champion last night which I knew you always were.

                            I always respected Dick Bank, he was a class act and made my trip and race the most memorable and greatest experience in my life. I hope he had a great life and peaceful passing with his family. I will always remember his kindness to me.

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                            • #15
                              Great story, midwestfan. I knew Dick Bank, but not as close friends. I have a couple of questions for you. In which event did you set a national high school record? Where was this meet? Let me be one of the last to congratulate you on your national high school record. That's fantastic and thank you for the story.

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