ST. LOUIS – Chemically speaking, gold is a group 11 metal. When it comes to on-air chemistry, Rich Gould has been the gold standard for KPLR 11 for more than three decades; the station’s own gold glove winner of sorts.
“But that’s my first memory of coming to St. Louis – doing a football Cardinals preseason game 1987,” said KPLR Sports Director Rich Gould.
“You know, it was a great way to do community things,” said former KPLR 11 anchor Christine Buck. “We used to do telethons together and there’s nothing like Rich Gould after a 24-hour telethon. He just always makes me laugh and sometimes on live television during the news, and once I was doubled over and that was his fault and he was apologizing for it while we were on the air.”
A relatively rare element, gold is a precious metal and, throughout history, has been used in coins and jewelry.
“I still believe that people want to sit down in their living room and watch a local guy give them the highlights and their scores,” Gould said. “I just do. They appreciate that connection more than they do watching ESPN.”
A rare broadcaster, never out of his element, Rich Gould has been the gold medal winner for St. Louis viewers for four decades covering the Cardinals, the Blues, the Storm, the Billikens, the Mizzou-Illinois Bragging Rights Game, and more.
“And a lot of people I think forget that he had the respect of a lot of the people he interviewed over the years and that’s because he always put them and sports first,” said Jeff Bernthal, KPLR 11 reporter and anchor. “It wasn’t about him and he’s one of a kind and he’s going to be missed.”
Gold, that most noble of metals, and Rich Gould the most synonymous with sports on KPLR 11.
“I’ll tell you what. Other stations might have gotten more notoriety but behind Rich’s leadership we were the first ones at Channel 11 to do the extended sportscast and he was great at it,” said Bob Ramsey, voice of the Saint Louis University Billikens. “As much fun as Rich liked to have covering sports, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be, people enjoyed watching him. He brought the fun to the audience and I think that has been the key to his success.”
From broadcasting games to interviewing the biggest names, Rich Gould was there or called it, like Mark McGwire breaking the home run record in a game on KPLR 11.
“We were doing the game and it was the Cardinals and Giants,” Gould said. “I didn’t get many chances to have a home run call and that one I certainly didn’t plan and it just kind of came out. As it turns out, fans of Cardinals baseball liked it. I’ll still have somebody say, ‘Hey! Great googly moogly.’”
Gould created and gave St. Louis sports fans “The Hot Stove League,” “The Whitey Herzog Show,” “Sunday Sports Extra,” “The Fan Show,” and plenty of laughs along the way.
“Probably the ‘Going, Going, Gone with the Wind,’” said Randy Liebler, KPLR promotions. “It was a parody of ‘Gone with the Wind.’ We were able to go to the Fox Theatre and Rich dressed as Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler and wore a Cardinals cap and it was a lot of fun to do.”
“I liked them all just because they were so goofy and I would always grumble to Randy Liebler and Dave Maul,” Gould said. “But down deep, I liked it.”
And up next, retirement for Rich Gould will be spent with wife, Patty, and their three daughters—Jill, Kelly, and Katie—playing golf, playing guitar, and working on new projects.
“When the job’s over, walk away and don’t look back,” Gould said. “I’ll do that.”
Good luck on your retirement, Rich.