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Popular Sports Radio Broadcasts – Keep the Thrills Alive

They are the voices in the evening, the play-by-play announcers, whose calls have spouted from radio speakers after August five, 1921 when Harold Arlin known as the first baseball game over Pittsburgh’s KDKA. That spring, Arlin made the premier college football broadcast. Thereafter, radio microphones found the way of theirs into stadiums along with arenas worldwide.

The first three decades of radio sportscasting provided many memorable broadcasts.

The 1936 Berlin Olympics were capped by the stunning performances of Jesse Owens, an African-American who won four gold medals, nevertheless, Adolph Hitler refused to position them on his neck. The games were broadcast in 28 different languages, the first sporting events to achieve global 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 fight 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 is 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 his record 2,130 consecutive games played streak, had been identified with ALS, a degenerative disorder. That Fourth of July broadcast included the famous line of his, “…today, I consider myself the luckiest male on the face of the earth”.

The 1947 World Series provided one of the most famous sports radio broadcasts of all time. In game 6, with the Brooklyn Dodgers top the New York Yankees, the Dodgers inserted Al Gionfriddo in center field. With 프리미어리그중계 on base Yankee slugger Joe DiMaggio, representing the tying run, came to bat. In one of the most noteworthy calls of all time, broadcaster Red Barber described what happened next:

“Here’s the pitch. Swung on, belted…it’s a long a person 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. Some of the most well known 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…” as well as fiddles, Marv Albert’s “Yes!”

Several announcers have been extremely skilled with vocabulary that special phrases were unnecessary. On April 8, 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers voice Vin Scully watched as Atlanta’s Henry Aaron hit home run number 715, a brand new history. Scully just said, “Fast ball, there’s a top fly to deep left center field…Buckner heads to the fence…it is…gone!”, then got up to buy a drink of water as the herd and fireworks thundered.

Announcers seldom dye their broadcasts with creative phrases nowadays and sports video is becoming pervasive. Still, radio’s voices in the night follow the trails paved by memorable sports broadcasters of previous years.

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