The Erie sports community and the city of Erie as a whole mourns the passing of James R LeCorchick on Thursday, October 13th, 2016. ‘Jimmy’ spent the last 9 1/2 years on Fox Sports Radio 1330 & JET Radio 1400. A lifelong resident and Erie’s BIGGEST fan, he was born June 2, 1947 and was preceded in death by his parents Margaret Himes LeCorchick and Joseph LeCorchick, and brother Thomas LeCorchick.
Jimmy attended St. Andrews Grade School and Cathedral Prep High School (class of 1965) where he was proud to have played on a City Series and Darby Mannix Playoff championship baseball team with great coaches and tremendously talented teammates that became life-long friends. He also played baseball for one-year at Gannon where he was the co-leading hitter for the team.
Most people know Jim LeCorchick from sports talk radio and as James R from the JRL Sports Report, but Jim had a long running and distinguished career as a sports editor, writer, sports information director, newspaper manager, and the force behind this website and podcast.
James R. was fortunate to have a long career covering his greatest passion: Erie sports. He got his start as the Sports Editor for the The Lake Shore Visitor and worked as a sports writer for the Erie Times-News before moving on to a radio broadcasting career in the 1970s that spanned five decades.
Most recently, he was a well-known commentator for WJET-AM-1400 and WFNN-AM-1330. He was blessed to have a career he dearly loved, discussing sports and local issues, as well as doing play-by-play and color commentary for college and high school football and basketball games, predominantly Cathedral Prep and Gannon University.
When Jim wasn’t attending or covering a local game, he was cheering on his much loved Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Cleveland Indians, and Cleveland Browns, and is likely pulling after-life strings to extend the Tribe’s post-season run in 2016.
Jim is survived by two children, Lindsay Jensen and her husband Luke of Nashville, Tenn., and Jeff LeCorchick and his wife Lisa of Erie; and their mother, Carol LeCorchick and two grandchildren, who he adored, Lilly Anna (his favorite listener) and Lincoln James LeCorchick, and his beloved dog, Gypsy and many, many unbelievable friends.
Jim’s family would like to share some moments in remembrance. The family tanks everyone for their support, love, and kindness over the years and in this difficult time.
Memorials may be made to Cathedral Preparatory School in Jim’s name.
A moving tribute for Jim today by the Prep Ramblers football staff, admin staff and team. Thank you guys. MARY, Queen of Prep, pray for us!
By John Kleiner
This is a particularly difficult time for Erie broadcasting, Erie’s sports community & Erie as a whole with the passing of Jim LeCorchick on Thursday. Jimmy was nearly 9 1/2 years into his current stint with Fox Sports Radio 1330 The Fan & JET Radio 1400 when we suddenly lost him. Though he’s likely best remembered as a radio talk show host, Jim wore many hats in business and in life. He was formerly sports editor for the Diocese of Erie’s Lake Shore Visitor weekly newspaper, along with writing for the Erie Times-News. Jim was sports information director at (what’s now) Mercyhurst University in the early 1980s. He later managed the Sportsline newspaper, whose name was shared with a 1992-2007 radio show. Jimmy was still currently the driving force behind jrlsportsreport.com, which he founded in 2007.
Jimmy’s radio career began around 1977, with the debut of “Let’s Talk Sports” on AM 1450 (then WWGO, later WEYZ). By 1990, Jim would be a host on WLKK 1400’s “Sports Talk”. Come October, he began hosting afternoon drive news/talk for several months. In June 1992, Jim started at WFLP Flagship 1530, hosting morning drive news/talk and afternoon sports. Jim would concentrate more on sports when Flagship flipped to 1330 in November 1993.
In 1998, Jim joined WICU 12’s sales staff for a time, before returning to Flagship 1330 in late August. He resumed as morning drive host, moving to 1400 in September 2000 (WLKK then, later WJET). Jim continued hosting “Sportsline” afternoons on 1330 (WFNN since September 1999) until February 2005, when he stepped out of the business for a stint as a delivery driver. He returned to weekday radio in April 2007, co-hosting morning news/talk on JET1400 and “Sports Blitz” afternoon (first on JET, still later on 1330 The Fan).
Through it all, Jimmy partook of many game broadcasts on radio-particularly Gannon Basketball & Football for what’s now part of Connoisseur Erie. Many of you likely remember his work of Metro League on WWGO/WEYZ, WFLP/WFNN & WLKK/WJET. He could also sometimes be seen and heard as needed on WICU 12 or WSEE 35. Jim was seen in person as ring announcer for many Downtown Erie boxing events in recent years.
I first met Jimmy in August 1984, during Cathedral Prep football camp at Fairview’s Camp Notre Dame. I saw him multiple times in ensuing years, particularly at sporting events. Jim & I became colleagues in August 1999, when 1330 & 1400 became siblings. Through these past 17 years as well as prior years, credit went where credit was due. When things were wrong, Jim would say so. No matter. With Jim LeCorchick, it got done. From the first “Let’s Talk Sports” in 1977 to “Sports Blitz” this past Monday and “Erie Talk In The Morning” on Wednesday-Jimmy was Jimmy. Not a national wannabe or ideolog, Jim’s thoughts were as original as he was. Jim had a unique perspective of Erie’s love for the buzz word “free”. He would mention that if event attendees were given dog droppings, someone would insist on an extra one.
My last project with Jim was last Saturday’s Gannon/Edinboro football game at Sox Harrison Stadium. I produced nearly 3 2/3 hours of broadcast on JET Radio 1400. The game itself was laden with penalties and injuries, along with a 1st quarter scuffle. Even so, Jimmy’s color commentary found room for fun along with Jack Quinn’s play-by-play.
Alex Womer has hosted a profound couple of “Sports Blitz” shows in as many days. “Erie Talk In The Morning” with Barry Dain Steinhagen honored Jim’s memory on Friday as well. Barry was already scheduled for Friday, but couldn’t have imagined doing a tribute show just days ago. My FM fellows on Rocket 101, Star 104, Bob 94.7 & 93.9 The Wolf have managed workflow quite well given everything. They too were shocked, and we mourn together as colleagues & friends. Moreover, we honor a life well lived by one who loved and gave. Kudos, plaudits, eternal rest & perpetual peace grant Oh Lord unto James R. LeCorchick. Prayerful condolences to Jimmy’s family-particularly Jeff & Lindsey, their mother Carol, and his canine companion Gypsy.