Hammerin’ Hank Passed Away at the Age of 82

Hammerin’ Hank Passed Away at the Age of 82

Henry Edward Goldberg, also known as Hammerin’ Hank, passed away at the age of 82. The man was an avid bettor who was celebrated as one of the most prominent sports radio and TV prognosticator.

Goldberg Had a Unique Way of Engaging the Audience

The legend passed away in his home in Las Vegas. The cause of his death was a kidney disease caused by diabetes – a condition he fought for years. Despite his sickness, Goldberg had kept on working for the last seven years.  

As a prognosticator, Goldberg was always honest and brash. His genuine passion for sports would sometimes translate into yelling. Although some disliked his fiery personality, many adored him for it. One of Goldberg’s former co-host joked about this, saying that Hammerin’ Hank is “the bad guy who yells at people.”

Local newspapers often used many words such as bombastic, brash, cranky, disgusting, egoistical and provocative to describe Goldberg. He famously commented on those epithets, saying that he agrees with most of them but doesn’t think he was ever disgusting.

Goldberg’s Feisty Character Earned Him the Famous Nickname

Goldberg spent a significant portion of his career as a host of a radio call-in show in South Florida. He worked at 610 WIOD and later at 560 WQAM for almost thirty years. It was back then when his famous moniker has born. Joe Zagacki, who first served as Goldberg’s intern and later as his boss said that the energetic host would not only yell at callers but would also often pound his fist or throw random objects.   

At one point I said: ‘You just hammered him again! You are Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg!’

Joe Zagacki, Goldberg’s former boss

Hank’s feisty personality would sometimes get him suspended for a while. In the end, WIOD decided to part ways with him. At that point, Goldberg joined WQAM and helped it become the top sports radio channel.

During the late eighties, Hammerin’ Hank also hosted a nightly show called “Goldberg at Night” where he would listen to viewers’ opinions and disagree with them most of the time. Despite being a so-called “bad guy”, Hammerin’ Hank raised two generations of sports fans.

Hammerin’ Hank Inherited the Passion for Sports from His Father

Goldberg inherited his passion for sports from his father, Hy Goldberg. At the time, the latter worked as a famous sportswriter and columnist – a position he maintained for over four decades. Hy would also take his children to sports events each year, helping them learn to love sports from a young age.

Hy and Hank shared a lot of similarities in terms of looks but interestingly enough, the father was a complete antipode of his son in terms of character and was a very calm and reserved person.

Goldberg was a local celebrity at first. However, once he joined ESPN Radio and ESPN 2 in 1993, he quickly became a beloved personality to millions of Americans. People praised him for being honest and always voicing his genuine opinions. His colleagues shared that he never played a role and it was always the same Hank they knew and loved.

The Legend Helped Countless Bettors Place Winning Wagers

Hammerin’ Hank was also an avid bettor. When the Supreme Court revoked the law that banned sports betting, Goldberg moved to Las Vegas to start a new career. He joined SportsLine and CBS Sports HQ where he predicted the outcomes of college football, college basketball and horseracing events.

Many people trusted Hammerin’ Hank’s judgment when it comes to wagering. The man was gifted with an insight that helped him correctly predict the outcomes of many games. Under his guidance, thousands of punters placed winning bets, demonstrating his savvy as a prognosticator. He correctly predicted the outcomes of many professional sports events and horse races.

At one point Goldberg even admitted that he was scared to make predictions because of how many people were relying on him.

Goldberg continued to work until the last year of his life. He will be missed by the millions of sports fans and bettors he inspired.