The legendary Voice of the New England Patriots, Gil Santos will be a 2013 inductee into the Patriots Hall of Fame according to Patriots’ Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. This is the highest honor the team can bestow an individual and Santos will become the 20th person to be inducted. He is the second non-player to earn the honor as a contributor for his off-field contributions to the team.
Santos announced he would retire after the 2012 season, after overcoming life-threatening health complications in early 2012. He did return to finish the season in the broadcast booth.
For 36 seasons, spanning five decades, Santos has earned the moniker “Voice of the New England Patriots.” He is currently tied with Philadelphia’s Merrill Reese as the longest tenured broadcaster for a team in the NFL. He missed only one game in 36 seasons, a 1971 preseason game. On December 30, 2012, Santos called his 743rd career Patriots game, including his 73rd game between the Patriots and the Miami Dolphins.
“There will never be another tandem like Gil and Gino,” said Kraft. “They are two Patriots icons and legendary broadcasters. I am proud to say that they will both be known as Patriots Hall of Famers. Gil has always had such a great voice. We are lucky that his radio calls will be indelibly linked to the most memorable moments in our franchise’s history and we are happy to preserve his legacy in The Hall for generations to come.”
Santos began calling games in 1966 for the Boston Patriots at Fenway Park. He provided color analysis alongside veteran play-by-play man Bob Starr for the first five seasons. Santos moved into his current role as play-by-play voice of the Patriots (1971-79) when the team moved to Foxborough in 1971. WBZ News Radio in Boston, lost the Patriots radio rights in the 1980s, but got them back in 1991 and returned Santos to his natural position as Voice of the New England Patriots, a position he has held for the last 22 seasons.
Santos earned dozens of awards and honors for his reporting, sportscasting and play-by-play excellence as the sports director of WBZ News. He retired from WBZ after 38 years in 2009 and was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame that year. In addition to his work at WBZ, the skilled play-by-play broadcaster also called basketball games for the Boston Celtics and Providence Friars, as well as football games for the Penn State Nittany Lions, Boston College Eagles, Brown Bears and Boston Breakers of the USFL.