In addition to the beautiful story Jill Painter did for today’s Daily News (linked here) on the 30th anniversary of Lyman Bostock’s murder, and the legacy that he has left at Cal State Northridge with an alumni game in his honor as well as a scholarship fund that continues to help student-athletes, we tracked down Dick Enberg, the CBS sportscaster and former San Fernando Valley State professor/assistant baseball coach for his remembrances today.
Enberg helped with initial contributions to the Lyman Bostock Memorial Fund that was established soon after his passing because of the kinship felt with Bostock, a San Fernando Valley State star player before he was drafted by Minnesota and came to the Angels as a free agent for his one and only season, 1978.
“I was so proud as an announcer to say that Bostock played his ball with the Matadors,” said Enberg, the Angels’ broadcaster from 1969 to ’81. “They weren’t giving out scholarships for a long time, and it really started as a grass-roots program, so any time anyone made it to the big leagues from Northridge, it made us all feel a special allegiance.”
It made Enberg recall another former San Fernando Valley State player, pitcher Paul Edmondson, (Wikipedia bio linked here), who was the first Matador to make it to the big-leagues with the Chicago White Sox in 1967. Edmondson also met a tragic fate, having died in a car accident in the off season on his way to spring training in 1970.
He was 27 — the same age as Bostock when he was murdered.
Edmondson, Bostock and Enberg were among the first inductees into the Cal State Northridge athletic Hall of Fame in 1981 (linked here).
“Anyone, like Paul or Lyman, who made it to the big leagues and left a footprint at Northridge — like (former MLB first baseman) Jason Thompson (who played with the Angels in 1980) as well — were important to me as an announcer to squeeze that information into a broadcast,” Enberg said.
Enberg said he didn’t recall exactly what his emotions were the day he had to call the Angels-White Sox game on Sunday, Sept. 24, 1978 — hours after Bostock had died. But that’s understandable.
“Those are the kind of games you call ball and strike and don’t get too cute or clever,” Enberg said. “You only say the things that need to be said. You actually try to get lost in the game when your mind won’t let you ..
“It’s frightening how quick a life can be taken — even a 100-pound weakling is a monster with a gun in his hands. He was such a sweet kid, and I’ll never forget the shock we all had that morning when we realized he wasn’t going to be with us any more.”