Famed sportscaster Ann Liguori has a lot to treasure at her Westhampton home. The radio and television personality, author, businesswoman and philanthropist has earned significant achievements in her life. The Golf & Tennis Correspondent for WFAN Radio and CBS Sports Radio Network has broken barriers in broadcasting and earned a slew of awards and accolades for her work.
But the things that she holds dearest aren’t mere possessions or trophies, she says. It’s what’s she’s experienced in her life that truly matters. Most cherished, of course, are her almost 10-year-old golden retriever Skye, “the Brad Pitt of dogs,” and her significant other Scott Vallary. Beyond them, what stands out the most for her is the stuff of legends. Literally.
She has interviewed some of the most accomplished athletes in the world-including Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Sam Snead, Don Budge, Hank Aaron, Julius Erving, Jim Brown, Harry Carson, Gordie Howe, Billie Jean King, Wayne Gretzky, Charles Barkley and Brett Favre-and covered momentous sporting events from the Olympics to the Masters, and has a plethora of keepsakes to prove it. So it’s no surprise that her most cherished belongings include truly personal items gifted to her by her heroes. Topping the list are a pair of drawings given to her by “Peanuts” cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, an iconic photo of golf grand master Arnold Palmer and personally signed baseballs and photographs by Hall of Famer Ted Williams. Each memento is significant, she says. Because it represents the time she was fortunate enough to spend with the legendary people who gave them to her.
For example, there’s the pair of Snoopy drawings, which Mr. Schulz sketched for her after she interviewed him for her “Sports Innerview” television show. One of the pen-and-ink drawings is of the most famous beagle in the world post-drive at the end of his swing, with the club behind his left shoulder. The other is of him attempting to sink a put. On the putting sketch, Mr. Schulz wrote “For Ann” and “love & friendship,” signing it with both his proper surname and his nickname, “Sparky.”
“The legendary cartoonist was very passionate about golf,” Ann says, reporting that she also wrote a chapter about her visit with him in her book, “A Passion for Golf, Celebrity Musings About the Game.” “I treasure these two drawings from one of the most famous cartoonists on the planet,” especially as he very rarely gave his personal drawings away, she adds.
And then there’s the signed photo of Mr. Palmer, aka “the King,” crossing the famed Swilcan Bridge between the first and 18th fairways on the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, which reigns supreme for the sports commentator. Having spent considerable time with the pro golfer, considered to be one of the best to have ever lived, Ann reports that he was also one of the most impressive human beings she’s ever met, and one that she’ll never forget. “The King had one of the most charismatic smiles,” Ann says. “And that photograph, where he turns around while crossing the bridge and waves, the last time he played there, is one of the most iconic photographs in sports.”
Yet another unforgettable moment—one of her “Innerview with Legends” series interviews, which has audibly preserved for listeners and marked personally by signed pictures and baseballs—came when Ann was granted access to spend time with “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived.”
It was late in Mr. Williams’ life; the baseball legend was ailing and rarely gave interviews. But she managed to schedule some time with him on the day that the slugger was honored as a member of the Major League Baseball All-Century Team at the All-Star Game.
“What an interview it was!” recalls Ann. “He was very engaging as we discussed a variety of subjects from what made him such a great hitter to his co-piloting with John Glenn in the Korean War to his being inducted into the Fishing Hall of Fame.”