A founding father of sports talk radio has passed on, as Art Rust Jr.-known to his loyal listeners as “Arthur George Rust Jr.”- died yesterday in Manhattan @ age 82.
If you listen to sports radio in New York and don’t know Art Rust, your radio should be taken away from you.
Art Rust was a pioneer. A radio original. From the late 1970’s through the early 80’s, his voice was the only one on the dial talking sports.
He wasn’t loud, or disrespectful or antagonistic. He wasn’t a know it all who belittled his callers. He was a gentleman of the airwaves. He treated his audience with dignity and respect. In that way, he was the anti-Francesa.
Baldman was a beneficiary of Art Rust’s kindness many times as a caller to his show. He never big-timed the teenage Baldman, never was dismissive or impatient. Many times a caller would be in mid- comment and Rust would apologize because they needed to break for a commercial, and Rust would ask the caller: “Could you please hold on and finish that thought after the commercial?” Does that ever happen today?
Like all of us, he liked some sports more than others. His twin passions: baseball & boxing. He adored Joe Louis. He was at his best when a big fight was approaching.
From my view on the Stoop, Art Rust Jr. was like an All Pro fullback; he created holes for the modern day sports talk show hosts to run through.
He was a prince of the airwaves, and he is gone @ age 82.