I love my high-definition television, especially when it comes to watching baseball games. I like replay and all the different camera angles and I like seeing it all from the comfort of my couch.
Despite the visual splendor that modern technology may bring to a ballgame, there is nothing more splendid than listening to the game on the radio, especially from the comfort of one’s porch. That’s how most of us of a certain age, consumed our baseball–via the masters of the microphones, those play-by-play guys who night after night, season after season brought the exploits of our favorite teams to life. We saw it all through their words and our imaginations. In my house, Oriole announcers Chuck Thompson and Bill O’Donnell were part of the family and to this day I get that warm sense of home whenever I hear their voices on old recordings. O’Donnell would sign off every Orioles’ victory with the words, “It’s been a good night, everybody,” words which I appropriated when I was fortunate enough to broadcast New Market Rebel games for several years with my own excellent partner, Charlie Dodge. I digress . . .
All of this is to say that there is a website out there with a catalog of 360 radio broadcasts of various games, including more than a few World Series games, played between 1934 and 1973. That website may be accessed here. If you live in the Mid-Atlantic, I doubt you’ll want to go out on your porch this week to listen! Nevertheless, if you’re a baseball fan or a cultural history buff or even a fan of the way things used to be, I urge you to pick a game and listen in to the days when the story was more important than the statistics and play-by-play men were baseball poets. I’m going to have some downtime this week and it’s certainly what I plan on doing.