They are the voices in the night, the play-by-play announcers, whose calls have spouted from radio speakers since August 5, 1921 when Harold Arlin named the very first baseball game over Pittsburgh’s KDKA. That spring, Arlin made the premier college football broadcast. Thereafter, stereo microphones found the way of theirs into arenas and stadiums worldwide.
The very first 3 decades of radio sportscasting provided many memorable broadcasts.
The 1936 Berlin Olympics were capped by the spectacular performances of Jesse Owens, an African-American who won 4 gold medals, although Adolph Hitler refused to position them on the neck of his. The games had been broadcast in twenty eight different languages, the first sporting events to achieve world-wide radio coverage.
Many prominent sports radio broadcasts followed.
On the sultry evening of June 22, 1938, NBC radio listeners joined 70,043 boxing fans at Yankee Stadium for a heavyweight battle between champion Joe Louis and Germany’s Max Schmeling. After just 124 seconds listeners were blown away to listen to NBC commentator Ben Grauer growl “And Schmeling is down…and here is the count…” as “The Brown Bomber” scored a spectacular knockout.
In 1939, New York Yankees captain Lou Gehrig made his famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium. Baseball’s “iron man”, who earlier had ended his record 2,130 consecutive games played streak, was identified with ALS, a degenerative disorder. 챔피언스리그중계 of July broadcast included his popular line, “…today, I consider myself probably the luckiest male on the face of the earth”.
The 1947 World Series provided among the most famous sports radio broadcasts of all time. In game 6, with the Brooklyn Dodgers leading the New York Yankees, the Dodgers inserted Al Gionfriddo in center field. With 2 males on base Yankee slugger Joe DiMaggio, representing the tying run, came to bat. In just about the most unforgettable calls of all time, broadcaster Red Barber described what happened next:
“Here’s the pitch. Swung on, belted…it’s a great deal of one to deep left center. Back goes Gionfriddo…back, back, back, back, back, back…and…HE MAKES A ONE HANDED CATCH AGAINST THE BULLPEN! Oh, doctor!”
Barber’s “Oh, doctor!” became a catchphrase, as did many others coined by announcers. Some of the most prominent sports radio broadcasts are remembered because of those phrases. Cardinals and Cubs voice Harry Caray’s “It could be, it could be, it is…a home run” is a traditional. So are pioneer hockey broadcaster Foster Hewitt’s “He shoots! He scores!”, Boston Bruins voice Johnny Best’s “He diddles…” and also fiddles, Marv Albert’s “Yes!”
Several announcers happen to be so great with vocabulary that specific phrases were unnecessary. On April eight, 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers voice Vin Scully watched as Atlanta’s Henry Aaron hit home run number 715, a new record. Scully simply stated, “Fast ball, there is a high fly to deep left center field…Buckner heads directlyto the fence…it is…gone!”, then got up to get a drink of water as the herd and fireworks thundered.
Announcers seldom color their broadcasts with inventive phrases today and sports video has become pervasive. Still, radio’s voices in the evening comply with the trails paved by memorable sports broadcasters of previous times.