<tr><th style="">Children</th><td class="" style="">Christina, Teddy, and Johnny</td></tr>
Christopher Eugene "Chris" Schenkel (August 21, 1923 – September 11, 2005) was an Americansportscaster. Over the course of five decades he called play-by-play for numerous sports on television and radio, becoming known for his smooth delivery and baritone voice.
During his 36 years on The Professional Bowlers Tour, there were occasions when ABC sent Schenkel away to cover other assignments. Strangely, he was away on assignment for the first three of the PBA's televised 300 games. He would eventually witness a 300 game on January 31, 1987 when Houstonian Pete McCordic bowled one in the first match of the Greater Los Angeles Open. Chris told McCordic it was a great moment for him, since he was away all the other times. Chris would witness and call five more televised 300 games. After McCordic's final strike, Chris yelled, "We have it! We have it!"
Contrary to current popular belief, Chris Schenkel, not Jim McKay, anchored ABC's prime time coverage of the ill-fated 1972 Summer Olympics. When the terrorist attacks (otherwise known as the Munich Massacre) occurred, Schenkel was asleep after hosting the previous night's coverage live from Munich from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. local time. McKay, who was on his way to the Stadium for track and field coverage, was told to return to the ABC studio to report on the situation unfolding at the Olympic Village. Schenkel returned to anchor Olympic coverage after the Games resumed.
In 1971, Statesboro, Georgia businessman Charlie Robbins honored Schenkel by developing in his name a scholarship for golf at Georgia Southern University and developed the Chris Schenkel Intercollegiate Golf Tournament, featuring some of the nation's top college golf teams. It ended after the 1989 event after it was discovered that the golf club hosting the tournament was all-white, but was revived in 1999 as the E-Z-Go Schenkel Invitational and is regarded as one of college golf's premier intercollegiate events in the East.
Chris Schenkel also did play-by-play (with Bud Wilkinson) for the legendary Nebraska-Oklahoma "Game of the Century" on Thanksgiving Day 1971, as well as the Sugar Bowl national championship showdown between Notre Dame and Alabama on New Year's Eve 1973 (with Wilkinson and Howard Cosell, in a rare college football appearance). Schenkel was replaced by Keith Jackson as ABC's lead play-by-play man for college football telecasts in 1974, but continued to call college football games for several more years.
He was married to former dancer and model, Fran Page.
Schenkel had three children, Christina, Teddy, and Johnny. He also has three grandchildren, Christopher, Michael, and Katie.
In 1971, Schenkel, a longtime friend of Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman, was a passenger in the pace car for that year's Indianapolis 500 race. Astronaut John Glenn and Hulman were also in the car when its driver, Indianapolis-area Dodge dealer Eldon Palmer, crashed the 1971 Dodge Challenger convertible into a camera platform at the beginning of the race. Someone had moved the flag Palmer had positioned as a braking reference point, leading to the incident that injured twenty-two people, mostly photographers. Schenkel was in the back seat and suffered a broken shoulder when a photographer tumbled into the car. The car's other occupants were not seriously injured. The moment of the crash was captured by Chicago Tribune photographer Frank Hanes and was widely distributed via various media outlets.