Jim Intagliata’s reign as ‘Voice of the Cardinals’ ends

James Carl Intagliata, 80, of Northwood died on Sept. 17 at ProMedica Bay Park Hospital after contracting the COVID-19 virus (post-vaccination) thereby becoming another statistic in the worldwide pandemic. 

Intagliata was called by many the “Voice of the Cardinals” at Cardinal Stritch High School. He earned this title by becoming a multi-sports announcer for the Catholic institution for 37 years: beginning by announcing boys wrestling, then football games, and finally, boys and girls basketball games. 

One such story that Intagliata would often like to tell everyone was that he once call a boys baseball game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Intagliata knew how to get girls basketball fans at Stritch into a good mood. 

Say it’s a Tuesday night and there are 200 people in the stands. At the end of every third quarter for the past four decades, Intagliata grabs his microphone and announces the ‘official’ attendance. Well, not really the official attendance. He can go a little overboard.  

“When I first started announcing basketball, the (Stritch) girls packed that gym,” Intagliata told The Press. “It was around 1985-86 when the team dwindled. We couldn’t get hardly any of the parents to show up and the gym was darn near a ghost town. 

“At the end of the third quarter, I started giving attendance at girls games only. I announced, ‘The official attendance is 14,102.’ It varies. I do that at every home varsity girls’ game. I get applause like you can’t believe. The students go wild. The visitors laugh their cans off. Our students clap and roar and cheer. And really, there may be 150 or 200 people in the gymnasium.” 

The reason he got involved and stayed involved with Stritch athletics is simple. 

“I have an interest in the school,” he said. “My children went there. They graduated in 1980, ‘82, ‘83 and ’84.” 

Intagliata was inducted into the Cardinal Stritch Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Toledo Area Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2003. 

“The Stritch one is absolutely the closest thing to my heart, other than my family,” he said.

  Intagliata’s daughter, Tammi, who passed away in 1990 from a rare disease called Scleroderma, has a hallway named after her at Stritch. She was the first Stritch student to win the school’s Citizenship Award. 

Intagliata’s son Kent was a top wrestler at Stritch. Intagliata started announcing basketball games in December 1976 but didn’t take up football games until 1989 due to his commitment as a high school and college referee. Intagliata also became a well-respected high school and college football official for 25 years, which included some stints refereeing the Toledo Troopers professional women’s football games.

“My son was a freshman in wrestling, and I was sitting in the bleachers,” Intagliata recalled of taking up announcing at the school. 

“The coach (Tom Talbot) comes up to me and says, ‘What are you doing?’ I said I was saving a seat for the president, and he said, ‘Well, you’re the announcer tonight.’ I told him, ‘Coach Talbot, I don’t know anything about announcing.’ It was pretty simple.” 

About three days later, then-Stritch athletic director Ron Zak told Intagliata that the school’s basketball coach wanted to know if he would announce an upcoming game. 

“I said OK,” he said. “I love sports. I just really enjoy being around those kids. At that time I still knew them all because my kids were still in school. I just hung around there. That continued as it is today.” 


Announcing kept ‘The Voice’ young

Intagliata said being an announcer for Stritch all these years helped him stay in touch with what’s going on at school. But, there was an even more important reason. 

“It keeps me young,” he said, “and I thoroughly enjoy athletics. Every year we have the varsity boys and varsity girls over to our house for separate parties. We have a big pizza party for them. The boys hang out for three or four hours. They love coming over and hanging out. The girls enjoy it just as well. The coaches and their wives are welcome, too.” 

Intagliata worked for and retired from Medical Mutual of Ohio, formerly Blue Cross and Blue Shield as a union benefits negotiator. On some occasions, he would speak of a rigid or structured work day, which many times would include field-work out on the golf course.

Intagliata was a machinist for 10 years and spent 30 years as a labor liaison at Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which later became Medical Mutual. No matter where he worked, however, it couldn’t keep him away from his duties as Stritch’s announcer. He told The Press he missed only five or six basketball and football games since he started.

“I’m absolutely proud of that,” Intagliata said. “I don’t miss for any reason. It would have to be pretty serious for me to miss. I’ve been there so long they gave me a key to the back gymnasium, so I don’t have to park with all the crazy people. That’s a perk.” 

“I love what I do. It’s a great thing for my morale. You reach a point in your life where you need to feel like you’re worth something, and Cardinal Stritch is good for that.”

Being a great story-teller, Intagliata loved to regal in that he had been inducted into three halls of fame. In 2012, he was a Mac Morrison award winner under the Ohio High School Athletic Association for the Northwest District.


Moreover, although Jim had a rough childhood, he was able to overcome many, many difficult life-obstacles and achieved neat things in his lifetime, to include: being the president of the Placers Car Club and starting and running the local Muscular Dystrophy Association classic car show for 14 years.

Intagliata’s last public calling was to be a Northwood zoning board member for five years. He was just recently elect president of the board.

Finally, as if there could be a final chapter in this man’s life, Intagliata’s hobbies during his lifetime included rooting for the Green Bay Packers and Norte Dame football teams, camping, body building, working with tools, being a classic car enthusiast, having owned five different classic cars, volunteering at the Wood County Fair, spoiling grandkids, and probably most importantly, being an all-around advice-giver.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Clare E. Intagliata. Furthermore, from their marital union, they had some youngsters: Kent (Linda) [children: Joshua, Gina and Isabella]; Tammi, deceased in August of 1990, Tracy (Trinidad) [children: Jacob and Dominic]. James was preceded in death by his sister Rosemary Grzegorczyk, and is survived by brother-in-law Frank and nephews: Dean, Jimmy and Kenny (KK). (— from file story by Press contributing writer Mark Griffin and obituary courtesy Eggleston-Meinert-Pavley Funeral home)





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