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Celebrity Death

Golden Gate Fields Sam Spear’s Cause of Death at 72 Released


According to media icons in Bay Area horse racing, unfortunately, a Bay Area sports promoter and broadcaster passed away. Golden Gate Fields icon Sam Spear’s cause of death has been confirmed.

Sam Spear died on Saturday, October 23, 2021, from complications of the rare disease at the age of 72.

Spear was known for his love for red wine and conversation over meals, particularly in North Beach. He was media relations director at Golden Gate Fields and Bay Meadows and also hosted radio and television horse racing shows whose friends were luminaries like Joe DiMaggio, Andy Dolich, and others.

Racer Sam Spear died of an illness

Spear worked for the Giants under owner Bob Lurie and the Oakland A’s under owner Steve Schott and associated many managers, including:

  • Earl Weaver,
  • Alvin Dark,
  • Frank Robinson,
  • and Bill Rigney.

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Bay Area Sam Spear’s Cause of Death Announced

Golden Gate Fields Sam Spear died of Sarcoidosis disease at 72, and his cause of death has been confirmed.

He was born in Oakland and raised in Alameda by his aunt and uncle. Sam Spear started what became a popular nightly replay show on Channel 26, which ran through 2017 in 1978. He hosted “At the Track with Sam Spear” on KNBR during recent years.

Tom Ferrall, the former publicity manager at Golden Gate Fields and Bay Meadows, said: “Sam was the first to bring horse racing into the living rooms of Bay Area homes. He was Mr. Horse Racing in the Bay Area.”

Mr. Spear called games played by many Bay Area league legends, including:

  • Dennis Eckersley,
  • Chris Speier,
  • and Bill Buckner.

He was also well-known as Alameda Sam, Speier as the Alameda Rifle. He stood in line with DiMaggio outside a Marina school.

You can read about other celebrities’ life and career till death in the celebrity death section.

Reactions to Sam Spear’s Death

Several fans, friends, and supporters reacted and stated their condolences on social media websites following this tragic news.

One of his friends wrote: “RIP SAM SPEAR. Bay Area Legend. Media, radio, TV extraordinaire. A great friend of horse racing. Loved baseball, college football & helping others. He also loved the fans. He’d always say: “I’ll see YOU at the races!” RIP Sam. We will miss you.”

Another tweeted: “Sad news today @GGFracing Sam Spear, a Bay Area legend in the World of sport, has died following a long illness. We will celebrate Sam’s life and his enormous contribution to the sports world at an appropriate time. A thoroughly decent man may he Rest In Peace.”

One of his fans wrote on Twitter: “Sad to hear of his passing. RIP Mr. Sam Spear, grew up watching replays with my dad on KCSM. Here is to you, Sam. “GOODNIGHT EVERYBODY”.”

Please kindly scroll down and use the comment box to share your feelings about the heartbreaking news for tributes and prayers. Please keep in mind that the family needs privacy; please respect them during this difficult time.

He leaves behind his long-time partner Barbara O’Neill, his daughter Meghan Hanson, his stepchildren Bob Telles, Tracey Telles, and Rick Telles.

We are eagerly waiting to get your words if you have more information. More information will be updated as we receive it.

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1 Comment

  1. DC October 24, 2021

    RIP Sam! Grew up with you on Channel 26 in San Mateo
    Thanks for all you did!!


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