Stu Nahan, 81, the original play-by-play voice of the Flyers, who later was a sports reporter in Los Angeles, died of lymphoma yesterday at his home in the Studio City district of the city.
In 1967, Mr. Nahan joined Gene Hart at WKBS-TV (Channel 48). The two covered 27 of 37 road games in the team's first season and broadcast on radio the third period of most Flyers games at home and away, except on the West Coast.
"We always hoped it wouldn't be a blowout so people would tune in," Mr. Nahan quipped.
He had begun his broadcasting career in radio, doing play-by-play for a minor-league baseball team in Modesto, Calif. His first nightly sports reports were on a television station in Sacramento, Calif.
Mr. Nahan also hosted a children's TV program there as "Skipper Stu." After moving to Philadelphia, he was "Captain Philadelphia" on another children's show, and did play-by-play for the Flyers and the Eagles.
"At Channel 48, I was part of what was known as 'The Crew' that worked with him on
," said Dan Baker, the Phillies' public-address announcer. "He was great with kids. It was a live, in-studio show, and we always had a lot of guests.
"He also was the sports director of the station and would do the sports segment on the news block."
Baker said Mr. Nahan had broadcast Big Five games that weren't part of the Channel 17 package.
As a way of introducing hockey to Philadelphia, Mr. Nahan hosted a show with the cartoon character Peter Puck in which the game was broken down into segments for the viewers' amusement and instruction. Just last weekend, the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled Peter Puck from their vaults after nearly three decades and reintroduced the show to their TV audience.
"Stu kept everything light and funny," said Joe Kadlec, the Flyers' first public-relations executive and the first employee hired by chairman Ed Snider in 1966. "A lot of people don't remember Stu was Captain Philadelphia back then. It's funny, but tonight I was looking at a picture of a game between the New York press and Philly press. Stu was the goalie.
"Stu and Gene introduced hockey to Philadelphia," said Kadlec, who retired after 40 years with the Flyers and is one of their community ambassadors.
In Philadelphia, Mr. Nahan also was the play-by-play voice for CBS television during the NHL's
Game of the Week
in 1967, when the league expanded from six to 12 teams. He became the voice of the Los Angeles Kings in 1973.
He landed bit roles in Hollywood, appearing as a sportscaster in
in 1976 and as himself in
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
in 1982. Mr. Nahan had a nearly 20-year career with KABC, KXTA and KFWB and had done Dodgers pregame telecasts in recent years.
The Los Angeles native moved at age 2 with his mother to Canada, where he grew up playing hockey and was a star goalie at McGill College in Montreal. He signed a contract with the Maple Leafs in 1946 and was assigned to the minor-league Los Angeles Monarchs. When the Monarchs folded in 1952, his pro hockey career was over.
Mr. Nahan is survived by his wife, Sandy; sons Mick and K.C.; daughter Kathleen Derington; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.