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Marty Glickman, who always believed he was denied a chance to compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics because of anti-Semitism but later became the pre-eminent radio voice in New York sports, died yesterday at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. He was 83.
He died from complications after undergoing heart surgery in mid-December, his daughter Elizabeth Alderman said.
Glickman's voice had the clarity of a bell and the authority of a bank. But his broadcasting career began modestly and because he was a good college football player. After Glickman had scored two touchdowns for Syracuse in an upset of Cornell, a haberdasher in the upstate New York city hired him to do a sports broadcast on radio for $15, ''to capitalize on your fame,'' Glickman was told. That was in 1937.
For the next 55 years, he would set a style for generations of New York sports fans and would-be announcers with his staccato, concise, clear descriptions of all kinds of games.
His trademark call of ''Swish!'' for a basketball shot that went in without touching the rim or backboard was as familiar to New York listeners as ''Good! Like Nedicks!'' The call referred to the name of the Knicks' sponsor, a chain of hot-dog stands.
After his retirement in the early 90's, Glickman was remembered for what he did not do: run in the 400-meter relay in the 1936 Games. The day before the 400-meter relay, the assistant coach, Dean Cromwell from the University of Southern California, dropped Glickman and Sam Stoller, the only Jewish athletes on the track-and-field team. The track officials kept Foy Draper and Frank Wycoff on the relay and added Ralph Metcalfe and Jesse Owens.
Owens, despite not wanting to replace Glickman and Stoller, would win his fourth gold medal at the Berlin Games.
Glickman, then 18, said publicly that Cromwell had favored Draper and Wycoff, his own athletes from U.S.C. Years later, Glickman was relentless in in his claim that Avery Brundage, the head of the United States Olympic Committee, and Cromwell were members of the America First Committee and ''sympathetic to the Nazis.''
While not finding written proof that the U.S.O.C. kept Glickman and Stoller out of the relay because of anti-Semitism, William J. Hybl, then president of the Olympic group, said in 1998: ''I was a prosecutor. I'm used to looking at evidence. The evidence was there.'' That year, the U.S.O.C. presented Glickman a plaque in lieu of the gold medal he most likely would have won even if Owens and Metcalfe had not raced. Stoller died in 1983.
''If it hadn't been for that decision by our coaches, no one would remember me as an Olympian,'' he told an interviewer in 1996. ''I mean, name another 400-meter relay runner. But I'd much prefer to have run and won a medal.''
His outrage was sustained and severe.
In 1986, he returned to Berlin for a celebration of Owens's achievement. He wrote in 1994 about returning to the Olympic Stadium: ''Suddenly a wave of rage overwhelmed me. I thought I was going to pass out. I began to scream every dirty curse word, every obscenity I knew. . . . being there, visualizing and reliving those moments, caused the eruption which had been gnawing at me for so long and which I thought I had expunged years ago.''
Throughout his long broadcasting career, Glickman's medium remained radio despite his occasional forays into television, which included a stint as the National Basketball Association's first announcer for TV. He was the voice of the football Giants, for 23 years, of the Knicks for 21, Yonkers Raceway for 12, the Jets for 11. Glickman did pre- and postgame shows for the Dodgers and Yankees for 22 years; he broadcast track meets, wrestling matches, roller derbies and rodeos, even a marbles tournament.
''I never got tired of working,'' he once told an interviewer. ''If you love something, you can do anything.''
Martin Irving Glickman was born in the Bronx on Aug. 14, 1917. The son of a textile salesman and a homemaker, he grew up in Brooklyn. At James Madison High School, he competed in various sports and also met his future wife, Marjorie.
He never forgot the role the P.S.A.L., the sports arm of New York public schools, played in shaping his life, so much so that his family asked donations be sent to the P.S.A.L. in lieu of flowers.
In addition to his wife and daughter Elizabeth Alderman, of Armonk, N.Y., he is survived by two sons, John Glickman of St. Petersburg, Fla., and David Glickman of Goffstown, N.H.; another daughter, Nancy Glickman of Winchester, Va., 10 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
Glickman had been in Syracuse one year when he made the 1936 Olympic team. After he graduated in 1939, he joined the radio station WHN and by 1943 was its sports director.
When the New York Knickerbockers were formed in 1946, Glickman was their radio announcer. He was right there as the Giants' broadcaster with the increase of pro football's popularity in the 1950's and 1960's.
Later in his career, NBC employed him as a critic and teacher of its sports announcers, and Glickman was severe with sloppy former athletes who had been hired to talk.
In 1988 WCBS hired him for his second tour as the Jets' play-by-play announcer on radio. It was from that position that Glickman quietly said goodbye to his last audience in December 1992, at age 74. His autobiography, ''The Fastest Kid on the Block'' (Syracuse University Press), was written with Stan Isaacs, in 1996.
Glickman also had a long association with Home Box Office, mostly as an adviser.
Glickman was in the second generation of sports broadcasters who followed originals such as Graham MacNamee, Ted Husing and Bill Stern. They were shouters who sometimes laced their descriptions with hyperbole. Glickman played it straight, seldom offering opinions, and he was inspirational to many others who followed in the craft.
''My idol,'' said one of his former assistants, Marv Albert, another broadcaster who attended Syracuse, and who has become a famous New York, and national, broadcaster in his own right.
Photo: Marty Glickman (Associated Press, 1982)
COMMACK, N.Y., March 29— The United States Olympic Committee presented the broadcaster and former sprinter Marty Glickman with a plaque today in lieu of the gold medal it prevented him from competing for 62 years ago.
This marked the first time the U.S.O.C. has conceded that because he was Jewish, Glickman was kept off the 4x100-meter relay team that captured the event at the 1936 Games in Berlin.
In emotional ceremonies at the New York Jewish Sports Hall of Fame's annual presentations, the U.S.O.C. president, William J. Hybl, gave Glickman the Olympic committee's first Douglas MacArthur Award. General MacArthur was the U.S.O.C. president in 1927-28.
Although Hybl said he had never seen written proof that the U.S.O.C., which was headed in 1936 by Avery Brundage, had kept Glickman off to appease Adolf Hitler, Hybl said: ''I was a prosecutor. I'm used to looking at evidence. The evidence was there.''
Glickman recounted how, on the morning of the final trial heat, he and Sam Stoller, who was also Jewish, were told by their coaches that they would be replaced by Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe, even though neither had practiced on the relay team.
''Jesse said, 'Let Marty run,' '' Glickman recalled after accepting the award from Hybl. ''But the coaches said, 'You'll do as you're told.' ''
The coaches, Lawson Robertson and Dean Cromwell, told the team members that the Germans had been hiding their fastest sprinters for the relays and the Americans had to counter with theirs. But the German relay team was composed of the same men who always competed.
Owens and Metcalfe teamed with Foy Draper and Frank Wycoff to win the heat by an astonishing 15 feet. The next day they repeated the victory to take the gold medal, also by a comfortable margin and in world-record time. Thus, the presumably slower Glickman and Stoller still would have been successful.
Hybl explained that the MacArthur award would be given in the future only by the U.S.O.C. president and that it is not necessarily an annual presentation.
''It will be done for circumstances which require recognition by the U.S.O.C..'' he said. ''The U.S.O.C. isn't going to be afraid to tackle things, to have wrongs corrected.''
The 80-year-old Glickman, who went on to a career as a radio and television broadcaster, becoming the voice of the Knicks, Giants and Jets, said of Hybl, ''It was really remarkable, what he said.''
Glickman, born in Brooklyn, is the last survivor of that group of sprinters. He said he tried to avoid being bitter. At the time, since he was only 18 years old, he said, ''I had a whole world ahead of me.''
Hybl said, ''I'm really proud of what the U.S.O.C. has done is this regard.''