A Chicago sports radio icon passed away yesterday. Les Grobstein was a walking, talking sports almanac, or as was mentioned on the radio earlier today, he was the internet for sports fans before the internet was even invented. If something big happened in the world of sports, especially anything revolving around the Chicago sports teams. Les was probably there or was at the front of the line when it was time to discuss it. He could recall so many sports events, down to the date it occurred, without any effort at all.
I remember “The Grobber” most, for his work on WSCR, The Score, which resided at 820 AM, 1160 AM, and its current home 670 AM, in Chicago. He was their overnight host and while I sat in a guard shack for 5 years working that same overnight shift, in the 2010s, Les made it much more bearable. My wife is a decade older than me and she remembers him for his time at WLS and WLUP radio, in the 1970s, with Larry Lujack and Steve Dahl. Les was quirky, but he was real. The people who worked with him and knew him best say that he was the same man on the air that he was off of it, which would explain why he had such a following of very dedicated fans.
Les may be most fondly remembered for possessing the only audio recording of the infamous Lee Elia tirade, following a Cubs loss at Wrigley Field in 1983. Lee Elia, then manager of the Cubs, unloaded a lot of pent-up frustration towards the Cubs fans in attendance through the early part of that season.
Les hated the Green Bay Packers, too, which most Chicago sports fans will tell you, is a prerequisite to being a Chicago sports fan.
While I don’t work overnights any longer and because of that, have had less opportunity to listen to Les, he will be sorely missed on Chicago radio airwaves. Rest in Peace to a true Chicago sports radio legend.