Former Orioles Play-By-Play Man Tom Marr Dies At 73

Tom Marr — who died July 7, reportedly of a stroke following back surgery, at the age of 73 — was part of the Orioles’ radio coverage that forever changed the way baseball was broadcasted in Baltimore. 

The 1979 season saw the Orioles advance to the World Series, eventually losing in seven games to the Pirates. Also important to the history of baseball in Baltimore was the coverage the 1979 team received from a small 5,000-watt radio station, then-WFBR, 1330. The coverage took one game-winning home run by Doug Decinces and ushered in a catchphrase “Orioles Magic,” which still sticks today.


Prior to 1979, Orioles attendance was always an iffy proposition. Despite having one of the best teams in baseball from the first World Championship in 1966 through 1978, the Orioles struggled to attract more than a million fans a year at Memorial Stadium. That all began to change in 1979, when WFBR, a smaller-signaled radio station, took over the team rights.