Calling the Game: Baseball Broadcasting from 1920 to the Present is an exhaustive, meticulously researched history of bringing the national pastime out of the ballparks and into living rooms via the airwaves.
Every play-by-play announcer, color commentator, and ex-ballplayer who has presented a Major League Baseball game to the public is included here. So is every broadcast deal, radio station, and TV network. In addition to chapters for each of the game's thirty franchises, a history of national broadcasting and a look at some of the game's most memorable national broadcast moments are included, as are a foreword by "Voice of the Chicago Cubs" Pat Hughes, and an afterword by Jacques Doucet, the "Voice of the Montreal Expos, 1972-2004."
Each team chapter presents a chronological look from how and when the team began broadcasting (since all of the original sixteen major-league franchises predate radio) through the 2014 season. Author Stuart Shea details the history and strategies that shaped each club's broadcast crews, including the highlights and scandals, the hirings and firings, the sponsorships and corporate maneuverings. From the leap to Brooklyn from the radio booth of the Atlanta Crackers by young Ernie Harwell, to the dismissal of Mel Allen by the Yankees, from the tutelage of the now-legendary Vin Scully under the wing of the already legendary Red Barber, to the ascendance of the great Jack Buck to the number one chair in St. Louis upon the ouster of Harry Caray, the stories of the personalities who connect us to the game are all here.
Calling the Game is a groundbreaking and illuminating look at the people and the story behind the soundtrack of summer for millions of baseball fans.
About the Author:
STUART SHEA has been writing professionally about baseball for more than 20 years and has authored or co-authored nine books about the game, including Wrigley Field: The Long Life and Contentious Times of the Friendly Confines (University of Chicago Press). He served as editor of Fantasy Baseball Index for four years, worked as an MLB.com game reporter for a decade, and co-created the successful FAQ series of music and entertainment titles for Backbeat Books. A proud SABR member, he lives in Chicago.