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Get well, Joe

My thoughts are with former Cardinals catcher Joe Garagiola.

According to KMOX's Ron Jacober, the 84 year old's health is too poor to travel tonight to the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame dinner.

Garagiola famously grew up in The Hill neighborhood of south St. Louis as a friend and neighbor of Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra.

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Joe Garagiola played for the Cardinals from 1946 until 1951.

Signed by the Cardinals -- over Berra -- at 16 years old, Garagiola made his major league debut at 20 in 1946. He was a fine defensive backstop. But Garagiola never hit as well as it was hoped he would and he ended up bouncing to the Pirates, Cubs and Giants before his career was cut short at just 676 games over nine seasons. He had a .257 batting average and 42 home runs to his credit.

Garagiola was much more successful as a broadcaster after his playing days were over. When he hung up the cleats following the 1954 season, he was offered a job on the Cardinals broadcast team alongside Harry Caray and Jack Buck where he worked from 1955 until 1962.

For 30 years, starting in 1961, Garagiola broadcast -- and telecast -- national baseball games for NBC Sports including the World Series. I still greatly enjoy watching my DVD of the 1982 Fall Classic for which he was a member of the broadcasting team.

Outside of the sports world, Garagiola spent several years working on NBC's Today show and as a substitute host of the Tonight Show during Johnny Carson's tenure.

Get well, Joe.