Born: December 18, 1921; St. Louis, Missouri
Died: August 29, 2010; St. Louis, Missouri
By Ed Wheatley
When reflecting back on the memories of Wrestling at the Chase, Mickey Garagiola’s name is one of the first to be mentioned. He was neither a promoter nor a wrestler, but his presence on the show touched everyone
Mickey had been a popular waiter at Ruggeri’s Restaurant, a famous eatery in The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis.
Sure his business card would say “Joe’s brother” underneath his title, but while former Cardinal baseball player Joe would go onto fame in New York on the “Today Show” and “Baseball’s Game of the Week,” Mickey would gain lasting fame across the Midwest as the ring announcer for the decades-long program “Wrestling at the Chase.”
Mickey’s brother, Joe was the first television commentator of the show and had talked to promoter Sam Muchnick about perhaps using Mickey on the show.
Sam liked the way Mickey interacted with his customers. That unique personality would fit well with fans watching ringside and at home on television.
Wrestler “Cowboy” Bob Orton noted that as the show continued through the years, Mickey Garagiola became known as “the voice of the fan.” The many stories tied to Mickey’s 1969-1982 tenure on the show endeared him to wrestlers and fans alike.
While carving out his own special spot in the hearts of St. Louis fans Mickey is remembered as the ambassador of both Wrestling at the Chase and “The Hill.”