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Dick Vitale celebrated a very special anniversary in 2021. The year marked 50 years since the legendary ESPN announcer married his wife, Lorraine. The two wed in May 1971, two years after first meeting.

Vitale, a devout Tampa Bay Rays fan, owes the New York Mets for his successful marriage.

ESPN’s Dick Vitale has been married for over 50 years

Dick Vitale is still going strong at age 84, just as he did amid a global pandemic in 2020. ESPN’s decision to have many college basketball announcers call games remotely allowed Vitale to work from home. In turn, the College Basketball Hall of Famer spent more time with his wife, Lorraine.

Vitale went viral in December 2020 when he asked his wife to grab him a snack while calling a game remotely between Kansas and Kentucky.

Vitale can thank the New York Mets for providing good luck

When Dick Vitale first met Lorraine McGrath in 1969, the world was a much different place. Vitale was the head basketball coach at East Rutherford High School in New Jersey — two years away from becoming an assistant at Rutgers. In October that year, Vitale came into contact with the woman he later married.

In a 2008 interview with MassLive, Vitale reflected on the day his future bride came into his life. “I met Lorraine in 1969, the day the New York Mets won the World Series. The Mets won a championship, and I hit a grand slam.”

We can all say it together now: “Awww.”

Vitale and the Mets’ success crossed paths again four years later. He became the head coach at the University of Detroit in 1973, the same year the Mets reached the World Series. Detroit went 17-9 in Vitale’s first season. Meanwhile, Tom Seaver and the Mets fell to Reggie Jackson and the Oakland Athletics in the Fall Classic.

The pair wed in May 1971 and have two daughters together, Terri and Sherri.

Lorraine has remained supportive of Dick Vitale’s career

If a marriage can reach over 50 years with the many late nights Vitale had covering sports, it’s a testament to true love. Vitale frequently posts photos of the two and shares stories of his wife’s support, especially when she encouraged him to join ESPN.

In 2006, the duo created the Dickie V Gala to help raise funds for pediatric cancer. Since then, the V Foundation has dedicated 100% of direct donations to cancer research, equaling $250 as of publication. In 2023, the nonprofit’s 30th-anniversary gala singularly raised $2.8 million “in support of therapeutic resistance research,” granted to four North Carolina organizations.

In the spring of 2022, Vitale extended his contract with ESPN through the 2023 college basketball season. As Front Office Sports reports, Vitale explained that he’s not ready to retire:

“I’ll be able to tell when the time comes. If I feel like it’s not there, I will just tell them. I would not try to embarrass them, I would not try to embarrass my family, and most of all I would not embarrass myself. But I feel as young as ever. I feel like 20, I act about 12. Then reality sets in when I look at the mirror. At my age, it can happen overnight. Bottom line? I feel really great. I don’t feel any different than when I was 45 or 50. I really don’t.”

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