Coming Friday: Rich Marotta’s claim to fame

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David Crane/Daily News Staff Photographer

Rich Marotta, right, with SCSB president and Kings play by play man Bob Miller at Tuesday’s ceremony.

Rich Marotta, the former colorman on the Kings, Clippers, Raiders and Express who has become one of the authoratitive voices in the boxing broadcasting world, enjoyed a day to shine in front of family and friends when he was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

With part three of the annual best-and-worst of the L.A. media landing this week, we talked to Marotta, a Notre Dame High of Sherman Oaks and Cal State Northridge grad, about whether someone like him — a non-ex-athlete — could land a job as an analyst today, a role that seems to move farther and farther away from simply being a professional broadcaster who adds color to an event.

Marotta recently gave up doing his weekly radio boxing show because of a committment to a Top Rank boxing series for FSN he has been doing 36 weeks a year with Barry Tompkins.

As documented in the current issue of Don Barrett’s LARadio.com (linked here), Marotta’s speech at the 20th annual SCSB ceremony included (accompanied by Barrett’s photo):

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“I have walked on a journey that has left me so lucky and it is so great because I may have fancied myself at one time as a play-by-play guy, but really what I was able to do was sit down next to the greatest, starting with Bob Miller, with Bill King, the greatest wordsmith that I’ve ever been associated with while doing L.A. Raiders football, and on with Ralph Lawler at the L.A. Clippers, and Tom Kelly, the greatest sportscasting voice I’ve ever heard, with the easiest and breeziest style possible. It has been quite a journey.

“With all the great broadcasters I’ve sat next to and as great as they are and the excitement they bring to every game or match is reflected well on me. I’ve not only sat next to them but they’ve all allowed me at some point to contribute.

“I can still remember Bob Miller doing everything possible to make me comfortable on those broadcasts. He was a giant already when I joined him and nobody knew me. And Bill King, the legend with the Raiders and an icon with the NFL, could have crushed me and he didn’t. During my first season he kept asking if I was getting everything in that I wanted to say.”

Kelly once told him as they were doing L.A. Express games: “He said, ‘Let me call the play and I’ll get out of your way and you say whatever you want. I’ve listened to you on the Raiders broadcasts and like what you say and I want to hear it, too.’”

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