John Hoffman has spent the last 30 years describing the exploits of others, so a group of his friends decided it was time to turn the tables — and the microphone — on him.
The result is ‘A Tribute to John Hoffman,’ which will be held on June 19 at 5:30 p.m. at Nahant Country Club. The event is an opportunity for players, coaches, administrators, parents and friends to recognize Hoffman for his tireless work over the last three decades.
“John has dedicated a good portion of his life to publicizing local athletes and teams,” said Al Melanson, former English hockey coach, who is chairing the committee planning the event. “This will give us a chance to let him know how much his work is appreciated.”
A 1956 graduate of St. Mary’s Boys High, Hoffman played basketball at Salem State before being drafted into the U.S. Army. He served two years in India, playing on military basketball and fast-pitch softball teams.
After being discharged, Hoffman worked in the accounting department at the Record American and Boston Herald for 37 years. That he eventually ended up behind a microphone can be attributed to the fact that he tagged along when his father, Charles “Red” Hoffman Sr., handled PA duties for the Red Sox, Boston Braves, Bruins, Celtics, Boston Patriots, boxing and wrestling matches.
He got his start in television in 1984 when his wife, Jean, with whom he will celebrate 50 years of marriage May 9, saw a newspaper ad looking for someone to broadcast a high-school football game and volunteered him. Hoffman worked a Lynn Classical-Saugus game with Ray McGuiggin on Time Warner Cable and he has been going strong ever since.
“It really is a labor of love,” said Hoffman, who has broadcast thousands of games and a weekly sports show for 30 years. “I enjoy putting the kids in the spotlight. I’ve met so many great people and made so many great friends over the years. I really feel blessed.”
Hoffman worked with producer Dave McCarthy for many years, at first broadcasting games in Lynn, Salem and Swampscott before concentrating on Lynn when LETV was formed 20 years ago. He has also broadcast Everett High football games since 1996, calling all 10 of the Crimson Tide’s Super Bowl championships.
Boston Globe sports columnist Chris Gasper — who co-hosted a sports talk show on local cable TV as a Lynn Classical student —former NHL player and Lynn native Larry Pleau, legendary North Reading High baseball coach Frank Carey and North Shore Spirit owner Nick Lopardo are among those scheduled to attend the tribute. There will be no long speeches or elaborate presentations; the event is simply geared to letting Hoffman know how much his work is valued and appreciated.
“That’s it,” said Melanson. “This is a way for us to collectively say ‘thank you’ to John. I can’t think of anyone who deserves that more.
Tickets for A Tribute to John Hoffman are $40 and can be purchased at John’s Roast Beef, Brother’s Deli and Tony’s Pub; or by e-mailing [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]; or by calling Paul Halloran 781-593-7311.