A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from March 27, 2015
“You gotta love it, baby!” (basketball catchphrase)

"You gotta love it” is often said about something amazing or unusual (or both). In sports, “you gotta love it” originally meant that a player had to love the game or get out. “It takes work to make a football team. You’ve gotta love it!” was said by football coach Sid Gillman (1911-2003) in 1948. Baseball veteran player Enos Slaughter (1916-2002) said in 1953, “You gotta love it. Never lose your enthusiasm. Play every minute like it was the last out of the World Series.”

New Orleans/Utah Jazz basketball announcer Rod Hundley (1934-2015) made “You gotta love it, baby!” his catchphrase. “"The NBA, baby. You gotta love it,” Hundley said in 1978. Hot Rod Hundley: “You gotta love it, baby” (1998) was the title of his autobiography.

Wikipedia: Rod Hundley
Rodney Clark “Rod” Hundley (October 26, 1934 – March 27, 2015) was an American former professional basketball player and television broadcaster. Hundley’s life has revolved around the game of basketball. His love and talent for the game led him to achieve honors in high school and most notably during his college years. At West Virginia University, Hundley played to packed crowds at the Old Field House. His dribbling antics and daredevil maneuvers on the floor led to his popular nickname “Hot Rod” Hundley. He has most recently been known as the sports announcer for the Utah Jazz.
He was known for his rapid-fire style and sayings such as “from the parking lot” for a long-distance shot.

7 March 1948, The Sunday Messenger (Athens, OH), “Miami Starts Grid Practice,” pg. 17, col. 3:
OXFORD—Sid Gillman, Miami University football coach, started spring football practice Wednesday for more than 100 non-lettermen.
Gillman told the early squad. “There’s a chance for any of you to he a starter, hut you’ll have to work. It takes work to make a football team. You’ve gotta love it!”

17 July 1953, Greensboro (NC) Record, “Slaughter’s Formula For Staying Young Is Never Lose Enthusiasm” by Will Grimsley, pg. B-4, col. 6:
NEW YORK, July 17,—(AP)—If Enos Slaughter, the old Cardinal indestructible, had to give a formula for staying young in baseball, he would start off with this recipe:

“You gotta love it. Never lose your enthusiasm. Play every minute like it was the last out of the World Series.”

8 April 1970, Delaware County (PA) Daily Times, “Another View” by Ed Gebhart, pg. 18, col. 1:
Well, either you gotta be nuts or you gotta love it. Len Heller (a softball official—ed.) loved it.

OCLC WorldCat record
Ya gotta love it; a coach’s guide to championship basketball.
Author: Gary Duhaime
Publisher: Danville, Ill., Interstate Printers & Publishers [1972]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Sports Illustrated
Originally Posted: June 30, 1975
19Th Hole: The Readers Take Over
As a member of the MIT soccer and baseball teams, I would like to present a point of view that you somehow managed to omit from your article. To begin with, MIT athletes are not mostly patsies. The place is known for its academic excellence, but the, egghead image does not fit. Most people are here not because of their brilliance (a truly rare quality) but because of their fiercely competitive nature and willingness to put in what it takes to do what they do. The concept of seeking mediocrity is an ungodly one. As Coach Francis O’Brien says, “Ya gotta love it.” This attitude underlies MIT’s success in sports.
Class of ‘78
Cambridge, Mass.

13 February 1978, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “The Road,” sec. 3, pg. 6, col. 1:
Walking out of the hotel lobby, broadcaster Rod Hundley took a look at what must have resembled a rat coming out of a storm, with an arm four inches longer than normal for carrying the Telegram, and grinned: “The NBA, baby. You gotta love it.”

8 June 1979, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “I Remember the Jazz” by Marty Mule, Sports Extra, pg. 1, col. 2:
“The NBA, baby, you gotta love it!”—Rod Hundley

OCLC WorldCat record
Hot Rod Hundley : “You gotta love it, baby”
Author: Rod Hundley; Tom McEachin
Publisher: Champaign, IL : Sports Pub., ©1998.
Edition/Format: eBook : Biography : English

Urban Dictionary
Gotta Love It
When you like a Song , Movie or an Item etc , Gotta Love It (GLI)
This song is the Best , Gotta Love It , GLI
by TheGame2012 January 31, 2012

FOX13 (Salt Lake City, UT)
‘Hot Rod’ Hundley dies at 80
SALT LAKE CITY — The voice of the Utah Jazz, “Hot Rod” Hundley, has died at age 80.

Hundley passed away at his home in Phoenix while surrounded by family, the Utah Jazz confirmed to FOX 13 on Friday night. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in recent years.

Hundley, known for his signature catch phrase “You Gotta Love It, Baby!” was the broadcast voice of the organization beginning in 1974, when the Jazz were located in New Orleans. He followed the team to Salt Lake City in 1979. Hundley retired as the voice of the Jazz in 2009.

Jazz mourn loss of Hot Rod Hundley
ESPN.com news services
Updated: March 27, 2015, 11:45 PM ET
PHOENIX—Hot Rod Hundley, the former NBA player who broadcast Jazz games in New Orleans and Utah for 35 years, died Friday. He was 80.
The mural features a big and bold “You Gotta Love it, Baby!”—Hundley’s signature line.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Friday, March 27, 2015 • Permalink