John Badham was one of the great sports voices I heard while growing up in this province.
Along with Lloyd Saunders, Dale Isaac, Mal Isaac, Bob Hutton and Ron Barnet, Badham’s deep, engaging growl is ingrained in my Saskatchewan psyche. I thought of those transistor-radio days yesterday when told that John Badham died from cancer at the age of 79 in Peterborough, where he had resumed his legendary broadcasting career after a short retirement.
Badham just received Sports Media Canada’s Career Achievement Award. In 1995 he was inducted into the media wing of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
At age 20, Badham began covering senior hockey in his hometown of Weyburn. He did play-by-play for the Regina Pats’ 1974 Memorial Cup championship after handling Saskatchewan Roughriders’ play-by-play for a decade. For 22 CFL seasons, he was also the voice of the Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa Rough Riders.
When we crossed paths, I enjoyed reminiscing with John about his days in Saskatchewan, partly because of his engaging stories and partly because of his memorable voice.