Hinshaw reveals many facets of Irwin's life beyond sports

Jay Sorgi

Hinshaw reveals many facets of Irwin's life beyond sports

CREATED Jan. 24, 2012

MILWAUKEE - A longtime colleague of former 620WTMJ Packers, Bucks and Badgers play-by-play voice Jim Irwin remembers the side of his life that didn't have much to do with the games he loved to cover.

"One of the things about Jim, when he and I were talking, we almost never talked about sports.  He just never brought it up," said former TODAY'S TMJ4 anchor, reporter and executive Ed Hinshaw on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."

"I remember playing poker with him.  We didn't talk sports.  I went out to dinner with him.  We didn't talk sports."

Irwin passed away Sunday after a battle with cancer that had metastasized through his body.  He was 77.

One thing Hinshaw noted was how Irwin and his wife Gloria befriended a famous acting couple who found a home in the Milwaukee area.

"Gloria and Jim got interested in Ten Chimneys, where Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, the famous film and Broadway actors of years ago, lived west of Milwaukee," explained Hinshaw.

"My wife and I got invited to a party at the Irwin's home, and we walked in, and son of a gun, there are Lunt and Fontanne.  They became friends with the Irwins."

More important than friendship, though, was family for the Irwins, and through Jim sometimes did Packers, Bucks and Badgers games within a 30-hour period, he still kept his family close.

He chose to do the same upon his retirement in 1999.

"That's why Jim and Gloria moved to California, because both their kids were out there."

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