The world lost one of its best when “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek passed away on Sunday at the age of 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. It was a devastating blow for trivia fans all around the globe as Trebek had hosted the beloved game show for 36 years,
The world lost one of its best when “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek passed away on Sunday at the age of 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. It was a devastating blow for trivia fans all around the globe as Trebek had hosted the beloved game show for 36 years, with new episodes that he had already taped set to run through Dec. 25.
Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex. pic.twitter.com/Yk2a90CHIM
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 8, 2020
But Trebek wasn’t just the friendly trivia master — or “disappointed daddy” when contestants whiffed on easy questions — that we invited into our homes every night. The Ontario-native and L.A. resident was also an enormous sports fan. One of his earliest clips featured Trebek, in a different speaking style, running down the highlights from the 1967 Stanley Cup Finals:
Alex Trebek narrated this highlight package of the 1967 Stanley Cup Playoffs on CBC.
Much younger obviously and with a very different style reading this script. But there are moments where you can definitely tell it his him. pic.twitter.com/9iipQwxgck
— Bob Rotruck (@BobRotruck) November 9, 2020
Trebek was also a noted Dodgers season-ticket holder — and was surely celebrating when Los Angeles ended its 32-year title drought just two short weeks ago. He made his allegiances clear any time contestants brought up their favorite clubs. When one contestant noted Giants World Series hero Hunter Pence in 2017, Trebek made it quite clear that the Giants title didn’t come that season:
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) November 9, 2020
Pence himself was glad to have been “wrecked” by the trivia icon:
— Hunter Pence (@hunterpence) November 9, 2017
When a Cubs fan was on the show in 2013 and discussed his Wrigley Field groom’s cake, Trebek deadpanned, “There was no World Series trophy on the cake, was there?”
It’s only fitting that the show had a Dodgers category in 2019, with Trebek offering his very best Vin Scully “It’s time for Dodger baseball!” impression. Since Trebek was known to consult on the questions and provide his feedback to the writers, it’s safe to say he probably had a lot to do with this category.
James Holzhauer, who won the second-most Jeopardy! games in history and holds the record for the most single-game winnings, was a contestant on this day and he got three Dodgers’ Q’s correct:
Sports were — usually — not the preferred subject for many contestants (though plenty of baseball writers, including those at MLB.com past and present, have appeared on the show). That meant Trebek would often have to patiently explain the correct answer. Like when he had to tell all three contestants that the “Los Angeles Angels” are the only baseball team whose name gives you “a double redundancy.”
No one was able to answer “sabermetrics,” either:
Jeopardy! meets sabermetrics. Don’t feel bad, Trebek. I’ve gotten this look a lot. pic.twitter.com/vrWmAJpQKc
— Ben Lindbergh (@BenLindbergh) December 19, 2015
Fortunately, contestants had an easier time with baseball stadiums:
They were able to get both questions featuring baseball stars’ retired numbers correct, too:
And while Trebek knew almost everything, he wasn’t perfect. Case in point: His distaste for the beloved mascot, the Phillie Phanatic.
Alex Trebek is a Phillie Phanatic hater pic.twitter.com/b2m2Wxz2mq
— dhm (@dhm) October 18, 2019
Evenings just won’t be the same without Trebek guiding us through the “Jeopardy!” board and life will be a little worse without his comforting “ooh, no, sorry,” when a contestant would guess incorrectly. Fortunately, you can take this Sporcle quiz featuring Final Jeopardy! baseball questions and imagine that the famous host is reading them to you.
Michael Clair writes for MLB.com. He spends a lot of time thinking about walk-up music and believes stirrup socks are an integral part of every formal outfit.