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NEW YORK, NY-- Warner Fusselle, a native of Gainesville, Georgia, passed away Sunday evening June 10th, 2012, at the age of 68. A legendary figure in sports broadcasting, "The Fuse" as he was nicknamed, was highly respected by all he encountered and widely recognized by his charming Southern voice. He was heard by thousands through airwaves, television sets, and through stadium speakers. Fusselle was known personally and professionally as an ego-less and gracious Southern gentleman. He brought fans to the field by his personalized play-by-play action, overwhelming knowledge of the sport and players, and pure love of the game. He continued the traditions of his mentors and peers Red Barber, Mel Allen, and Ernie Harwell, while making his own mark.
He is particularly remembered for his groundbreaking contribution to sports media, through the production of "This Week in Baseball", where he found his break and credits Mel Allen. Fusselle's announcing career includes; his start in Minor League Baseball with the Class-A South Atlantic League Spartanburg, SC Phillies, the Class-AAA International League Richmond Braves, the voice of the Virginia Squires in the American Basketball Association, and many credits with Major League Baseball. Among the hundreds of voiceovers on national networks, he more recently was the voice of Seton Hall basketball for twelve years, and for St. John's baseball. He most recently enjoyed his last years as the voice of the Brooklyn Cyclones, where he traveled and worked tirelessly since 2001. When Fusselle, who was a star athlete in his younger days, was asked if he preferred basketball or baseball, he replied he loved both, but his heart was always with baseball.
Warner Fusselle remained a stalwart of tradition in his career and still wrote all records and programming by hand, even in this age of computers, as he was approaching his 35th opening day on the diamond this year.
Fusselle, a Korean War veteran, was successful in all his endeavors, even producing two baseball music albums, authoring "Baseball, A Laughing Matter", starring in the 1992 major film, "The Bad Lieutenant", and being a serious collector of sports memorabilia. He recently expressed his interest in teaching sports broadcasting at the collegiate level.
The son of the late Dr. Warner Earle Fusselle and Ruth Trotter Boone, Warner Fusselle, was born on April 7, 1944 in Louisville, Kentucky. He is survived by one sister, Alicia Ruth Fusselle of Spartanburg, SC; and nephews, Max Thomas Hyde Jr., also of Spartanburg, SC, and Warner Fusselle Hyde of Pittsboro, NC.
Memorial services celebrating the life of Warner Fusselle will be held in both New York and Spartanburg, South Carolina. The Spartanburg service will be at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday June 13, 2012 in the Chapel of the First Presbyterian Church on East Main Street. The family will receive friends immediately following in the Parlor.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Baptist Church of Gainesville, GA 30501 in support of the Warner Fusselle youth sports program.
An online guest register is available at www.floydmortuary.com
Floyd's North Church Street Chapel
Published in Spartanburg Herald-Journal from June 12 to June 13, 2012