YALLA SHOOT Bein Sport are the voices in the night, the play-by-play announcers, whose calls have spouted from radio speakers after August five, 1921 when Harold Arlin called the first baseball game over Pittsburgh’s KDKA. That spring, Arlin made the premier college football broadcast. Thereafter, stereo microphones found their way into stadiums as well as arenas worldwide.
The first 3 years of radio sportscasting provided numerous memorable broadcasts.
The 1936 Berlin Olympics were capped by the stunning performances of Jesse Owens, an African-American who won four gold medals, even thought Adolph Hitler refused to position them on the neck of his. The games had been broadcast in 28 different languages, the very first sporting events to achieve world-wide radio coverage.
Many famous sports radio broadcasts followed.
On the sultry evening of June twenty two, 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 only 124 seconds listeners were blown away to hear NBC commentator Ben Grauer growl “And Schmeling is down…and here’s the count…” as “The Brown Bomber” scored a stunning knockout.
In 1939, New York Yankees captain Lou Gehrig created the famous farewell speech of his at Yankee Stadium. Baseball’s “iron man”, who earlier had ended the record of his 2,130 consecutive games played streak, was identified with ALS, a chronic disease. That Fourth of July broadcast included his well known line, “…today, I consider myself probably the luckiest man on the experience of the earth”.
The 1947 World Series provided among the most well known sports radio broadcasts of all time. In game 6, with the Brooklyn Dodgers reputable the New York Yankees, the Dodgers inserted Al Gionfriddo in center field. With two males on base Yankee slugger Joe DiMaggio, representing the tying run, came to bat. In probably the most noteworthy calls of all time, broadcaster Red Barber described what happened next:
“Here’s the pitch. Swung on, belted…it’s a great deal of an individual 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!” evolved into a catchphrase, as did many others coined by announcers. Several of the most prominent sports radio broadcasts are recalled due to those phrases. Cardinals and Cubs voice Harry Caray’s “It may be, it could be, it is…a home run” is a standard. 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!”
Some announcers happen to be extremely great with words that special phrases happen to be unnecessary. On April eight, 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers voice Vin Scully watched as Atlanta’s Henry Aaron hit home run number 715, a new track record. Scully simply stated, “Fast ball, there’s a high fly to deep left center field…Buckner heads back to the fence…it is…gone!”, then got up to get a drink of water as the crowd and fireworks thundered.
Announcers hardly ever color their broadcasts with inventive phrases now and sports video is becoming pervasive. Still, radio’s voices in the evening stick to the trails paved by noteworthy sports broadcasters of previous times.