'Goodnight, good sports': Vermont says goodbye to a TV legend
It is a sad day for us here in the WCAX family. Legendary sports anchor Tony Adams has passed away at the age of 95. Our Roger Garrity looks back at Tony's long career on Channel 3.
Tony was here when television began in Vermont. He was already on the air at WCAX radio and made the switch to TV when Channel 3 went on the air in 1954.
"It was traumatic, to say the least, making the transition. I had many sleepless nights leading up to it," he said.
But Tony quickly settled in at the anchor desk and soon became synonymous with Vermont sports.
Tony was a true sports journalist from the days before flashy graphics and music video highlight reels. He relied instead on insightful interviews with such sports legends as Jackie Robinson. His annual trips to spring training brought baseball's best into Vermont living rooms.
But it was coverage of local college and high school teams that Tony loved most. And what high school champion will ever forget their moment on the air with Tony Adams?
Tony finally left the sports desk in May of 1989. Asked what he would miss most about the job, Tony replied: "I'll miss the people. I'll miss the connections I've had with coaches and players."
He said goodbye to the coaches, the players and the sports fans, ending the longest continuous broadcasting career in the country.
"It isn't easy leaving you after coming into your homes for almost 35 years," Tony said on his last broadcast. "To be honest, I'll miss you. I love you all. Tony Adams, good night, good sports."
After his retirement, Tony received many honors for his contributions to the sporting community. He was inducted into the Vermont broadcasting hall of fame and offered a comfortable spot to spend his retirement.
But Tony's career wasn't over by a long shot. He remained for many years as host of the home and farm show "Across the Fence." He worked as a volunteer at the UVM Medical Center for nearly 30 years. And he kept coming to work at WCAX every day to deliver our mail and, of course, to say hi to friends and colleagues.
Thanks for the memories Tony, as we say goodbye to a good sport.
Tony had been in hospice care for the past few months. His family tells us they do not believe his death was from the coronavirus.
He is survived by his daughter, Stephanie Woodley, of Laconia, New Hampshire, and his son, Tony Adamis Jr., of Kingston, New York.