“FENWAY'S BEST PLAYERS”
Fred Cusick was born in the Brighton section of Boston. A graduate of (and former hockey player at) Northeastern University in Boston, he began broadcasting sports at WCOP in Boston in 1941 while a senior at Northeastern, crediting his hockey background as the entree to the position. He subsequently went into the United States Navy in World War II, rising to lieutenant in command of a subchaser. After the war, he worked for several radio stations, hosting the popular Irish Hour on WVOM in Brookline, which focused on sports, especially hockey. After a brief time in Washington during the Korean War and upon the retirement of Bruins' radio broadcaster Frank Ryan, Cusick - paired with ex-Bruin Jack Crawford - became the radio play-by-play broadcaster of the Bruins from 1952 to 1963, during which time he was also Sports Director for WEEI radio in Boston.
Fred Cusick was the color commentator on WEEI for the very first game of the fledgling American Football League, a Friday night contest between the Denver Broncos and the Boston Patriots on September 9, 1960, at Nickerson Field on the campus of Boston University. Then, with play-by-play announcer, Bob Gallagher, Cusick served as the color man for the Boston Patriots radio between 1960 and 1964 as they moved to Fenway Park.
At that time, Cusick was responsible for getting Boston Bruins' games on local television on a regular basis. He led the push to get the Bruins on television, editing and voicing over tapes of the Bruins' Saturday night games, which would then air on Sundays. The replays were popular enough that the games aired on live TV within a couple of years. In 1963, Bruins CEO Weston Adams asked Fred and producer/director Neal P. Cortel to arrange the first-ever live telecast of a Bruins game from the old Boston Garden. The experimental telecast was wildly popular. Fred Cusick was a signature voice of the Bruins during their 1970s heyday, when they reached the pinnacle of their popularity, winning their first Stanley Cup in 29 years in 1970, and setting a regular-season record for points and goals scored in 1970–71. His simple trademark call of "Score!" whenever Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Cam Neely and countless other Bruins put the puck in the net served as familiar punctuation on their goals. On WBZ-AM 1030, Bob Wilson replaced him on WBZ-AM starting in 1972.
Jack Edwards, the current television voice of the Bruins on NESN's telecast, remembered Cusick as one of the greats of his profession, in part because of his passion for the sport. "When you listened to Fred Cusick call a Bruins game, you knew this: he loved hockey with endless enthusiasm, and he was thrilled every night," Edwards said. "By sharing those qualities with those of us in his considerable audience, he pulled us closer to the game we all enjoy so much -- and he added to that enjoyment.
Cusick got to use the phrase a couple hundred times while calling the Bruins' 1970 Stanley Cup championship for WBZ-FM (1030). He then moved to television in '71, taking over play-by-play duties at Channel 38 and holding that position until 1997, when he retired after 45 years calling Bruins games. He also was the play-by-play voice of the Bruins on NESN from 1984 to '93.
He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the first wave of media honorees in 1984, and in that year was also named the first winner of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award. His hockey legacy will be lasting in Boston.