Fall afternoons, spring nights, floating throughout the yard and echoing in the rafters. You have actually invested a lot of hours with Dick Calvert.
A minimum of, with his disembodied voice.
UNLV’s public address commentator, a 34-year-old scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers when he ended up being the Voice of the Rebels in 1970, has behind the microphone for what will be his 48th season this year.
Now 81, Calvert remains a continuous existence in UNLV athletics. The Rebels’ Vin Scully in scarlet and gray.
“I offered over half my life to this,” he said. “But it’s still the very same. I get excited simply going to the arena, the ballpark, the stadium.”
Baseball is his very first, and truest love, but the 1976-77 Runnin’ Rebels Final 4 team is still his favorite. The first time is constantly something. The old flying dish Convention Center, 6,000 strong with people standing in the aisles to view the Rebels, had its charms. But the Athletic Director Brad Rothermel presided over the opening of the Thomas & & Mack Center throughout his period, an era of UNLV sports that Calvert says was the most interesting time to be a Rebels fan in the school’s history.
Fred Dallimore was leading the baseball group through 80 video games a year in a stacked division. Harvey Hyde’s football team had Randall Cunningham under center. And Jerry Tarkanian was handling all comers on the court, to the delight of a city.
“It was a who’s-who who came, whether they were basketball fans or not,” Calvert stated. “Back in those days individuals came to the video games dressed in their finest, like they were going out to dinner. The women using furs, the gentlemen using coats and ties and sitting courtside with their martinis or whatever the hell they were drinking.”
Those fur-bedecked women needed to beware. The aggressive Rebels were always diving after loose balls– sometimes into the courtside seats.
The late 1990s and 2000s may have seen those fan-player close calls slip away as trainers tables and the like put fans at a get rid of; and the swells wandering away from their posts. But Calvert sees renewed reason for optimism, particularly in football with a rebuilt team almost total and a brand-new arena soon to be developed.
Which suggests Calvert, despite working as the public address announcer for all UNLV sports and the Las Vegas 51s, despite serving on the board (and as the host, and on the board of) the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame, and despite owning his own company, Nevada Sports Productions, isn’t going anywhere.
“The R-word is constantly followed by the D-word,” Calvert said. “As long as I can keep doing it and they still want me? I enjoy doing it. Why would I want to quit? I want to go and see the game anyhow. Someone would ask me to buy a ticket. I can’t inform you the last time I purchased a ticket to any sporting occasion. I got the very best seat in your home, and they pay me to do it.”