Hank Goldberg, an NFL reporter and disability expert for ESPN for two decades, died Monday on his 82nd birthday, his family confirmed.
Goldberg had been under treatment for chronic kidney disease in recent years.
Goldberg, known as Hammering Hank, hit .500 or better in 15 of 17 NFL seasons while predicting games for ESPN. He appeared on NFL Countdown and ESPN Radio and contributed to the network’s comprehensive race coverage.
Goldberg has been a contributor to ESPN’s Daily Wager sports betting program throughout its existence, making weekly bets during the NFL season and making occasional appearances on Triple Crown races. His last appearance on ESPN was in May when he did a phone interview from the Kentucky Derby.
Art Montereys, a recently retired longtime Las Vegas bookmaker, spent his 40-year career trying to fight smart guys, but quickly learned to respect Goldberg. The two struck up a friendship that spanned three decades.
The two enjoyed a pastrami on rye meal together last week from one of Goldberg’s favorite Las Vegas spots, Weiss Deli, Montereys said.
“I promise you, he’s not fake,” Manderis told ESPN of Goldberg’s handicapping talent. “Hammer always put his money where his mouth was, and that immediately gave me a high regard for him. As a longtime Las Vegas bookmaker, there were few opinions in the NFL that I respected more than Hank’s.”
Goldberg was a longtime fixture in Miami, serving as a local radio and television host and Dolphins radio analyst for more than 25 years. He began his career in the 1970s as an assistant to the disabled Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder.
ESPN’s David Purdam contributed to this report.
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