Monday, November 30, 2015

Remembering Les Keiter

The voice of the Big Five died in Hawaii, about two weeks shy of his 90th birthday.

Remembering Les Keiter


Word in from Hawaii is that Les Keiter, who called Big Five games here as well as some classic boxing matches, died just two weeks before his 90th birthday.

Larry Kane, who worked with Keiter from 1966 to 1970 at Channel 6, called him a "real pro." Keiter relocated to Hawaii in 1970.

"The guy was amazing," Kane said. "He never had a script. He'd come in to the studio, scribble down notes and just do it." Among his catch phrases during basketball games: "In-again, out-again Finnegan" and "ring-tailed howitzer."

Kane also remembers that unlike other sportscasters of the day, Keiter brought personalities on camera with him, including Muhammad Ali (who lived on the Main Line for a spell) and Bill White (the Phillies first baseman who went on to become the first African American play-by-play man and later National League president).

Keiter called 14 championship boxing matches, including Ali's 1964 win over Sonny Liston. He retired in 1994.

Here's a tribute from KHON, his former station.
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Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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