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From Oklahoma to Omaha, Jack Payne became the voice of the CWS

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Payne CWS

Jack Payne, who died Wednesday seven months shy of his 100th birthday, packed more stories than Willa Cather. More punchlines than Johnny Carson. More contacts than Warren Buffett, writes Dirk Chatelain.

OMAHA — My gosh, where do you even begin with Jack Payne?

In the booth with Lyell Bremser during the Game of the Century? Courtside calling Creighton games with Bob Gibson? At Husker football practice conducting an interview with Bob Devaney ... until the combustible coach repeatedly ordered him to stop recording so he could colorfully shout instructions? “I had the darndest time editing that tape,” Payne later said.

Payne's plaques

“My eyes are your ears,” Jack Payne said in 2018. “What you know about this game I’m telling you.”

500th game

Longtime College World Series announcer Jack Payne gets a hug from Lou Spry, the CWS' official scorekeeper, during Payne's 500th CWS game.

Payne in press box

When Jack Payne called a game, everybody won, writes Dirk Chatelain.

Originally published on, part of the TownNews Content Exchange.

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