Results tagged ‘ Joe Garagiola ’

Broadcast history

By Samantha Carr

Curt Smith was 11 years old the first time he visited the Baseball Hall of Fame, and he’s been back more than 75 times since.

“And the novelty hasn’t faded,” he said.

But for visitors in Cooperstown for Hall of Fame Weekend, Smith’s Authors’ Series program made it a visit to remember. Smith, a columnist, University of Rochester lecturer and former presidential speechwriter, has written a new book entitled A Talk in the Park: Nine Decades of Tales from the Broadcast Booth.

“This book features 116 announcers – the largest collection of any sports book ever – sharing stories from baseball history,” said Smith. “Some are very poignant and touching and others – it is like the book Joe Garagiola wrote called Baseball is a Funny Game. It’s true.”

And Smith delighted Hall of Fame visitors on Friday by sharing stories from a number of chapters in the book.

Like Ken Harrelson, broadcaster for the Chicago White Sox and former major leaguer who defended his one handed catch by saying, ” with hands as bad as mine, one hand is better than two.”

Or Steve Blass, who was one of the only players in baseball history who was traded in Little League. He was moved from the Yankees to the Giants because the Yankees didn’t have a uniform small enough to fit him. Each big league team and network is represented in the book – so every baseball fan can find something that touches their baseball experience. The voice of the Toronto Blue Jays, Jerry Howarth, in town for the induction of Roberto Alomar and Pat Gillick, attended the program and shared some laughs at stories of his broadcast colleagues.

Garagiola once said to Yogi Berra that he was amazed that Berra was such a world figure, he drew more applause than a president or prime minister. When he asked Berra how he explained it, Berra responded, “Easy, I’m a better hitter.”

The book is available in the Museum Bookstore and a portion of the proceeds from the book benefit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

One final story told by Smith was a quote from 2008 Ford C. Frick Award winner Dave Niehaus, broadcaster for the Seattle Mariners who passed away last year at the young age of 75. Niehaus described his impressions of Cooperstown.

“When you come here you know there is no place like it in the world. It’s like going to Disney World, but you don’t have to pay for rides.”

Samantha Carr is the manager of web and digital media for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Hall Monitor: Hot Winter Meetings

Hayes_90.jpgBy Trevor Hayes

The temperatures in Orlando weren’t that warm, but plenty of big splashes and a flurry of other news made for a week of sizzling Hot Stove action. With Spring Training approaching, many names have changed places, giving them opportunity to put a new mark of the narration of the game.


12-10-10-Hayes_Gillick.jpgWerth Announcing
: On Monday, Pat Gillick was announced as the first new Inductee for the Hall of Fame Class of 2011, which only seems fitting coming a day after the announcement of Jayson Werth signing with Washington. The two are connected because Gillick brought Werth to Philadelphia after the struggling outfielder was cut by the Dodgers in December of 2006. That signing was one of a number of moves by Gillick and the Phillies that led to their 2008 World Title – the third of Gillick’s career.

Not Gonzo in San Diego: The first major splash once the Winter Meetings began was the Red Sox’s signing of Adrian Gonzalez, who will join a storied tradition of hitters in Boston, including fellow San Diego native Ted Williams. But Gonzalez will leave behind an unfinished assault on most of the Padres offensive records.

Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn is the hit king in Southern Cali, besting Gonzalez by 2,285 base knocks. But over his five seasons in San Diego, Gonzalez had been steadily building his case as the most powerful Padre. He leaves San Diego two home runs shy of the team’s all-time record of 163 by Nate Colbert. He currently ranks fifth on the doubles list, three two-baggers behind another Hall of Famer, Dave Winfield. And with an average season in 2011, he would have passed Phil Nevin for third on the Padres RBI list, behind only Gwynn and Winfield.


12-10-10-Hayes_ApplingFox.jpgTwo Grand in Pale Hose
: Frank Thomas missed by 41 games, but with his new deal Paul Konerko should be able to reach 2,000 games played for the White Sox. Wednesday, Konerko signed on for three more years in the Southside and sits just 232 games away from the mark. To this point, only Hall of Famers Luke Appling (2,422 games) and Nellie Fox (2,115 games) have topped the two-grand threshold for the Sox – one of the eight original AL clubs.

Burning up the base paths: It would appear that the Red Sox newest outfielder might have his sights set on his new team’s stolen base record. Carl Crawford, who signed with Boston Thursday, has stolen 409 bases during his nine years, with only nine of those coming in his first season in the Majors. The Red Sox record is 300, held by Harry Hooper who played in Boston from 1909 to 1920. The second and third place slots are filled by a pair of Hall of Famers in Tris Speaker (267 steals from 1907-15) and Carl Yastrzemski (168 steals from 1961-83).

Aside from his talents on the bases, Crawford’s power-speed combination will be unique to the Sox. Last year he compiled at least 100 runs, 30 doubles, 10 triples and 15 home runs. Nomar Garciaparra reached those numbers in 1997 and 2003. To find another Boston player to achieve that combination, you have to go back 70 years to 1940 when a 21-year-old Ted Williams did it.


12-10-10-Hayes_Smith.jpgAnother Week, Another Cooperstown-worthy show
: This week, 2010 Hall of Fame Inductee Whitey Herzog sits down on Inside Studio 42 with Bob Costas. Herzog and Costas will talk about the Cardinals teams of the 1980s, Whiteyball and the state of the game today. Also stopping by will be fellow Cardinal Hall of Famer, the Wizard of Oz, Ozzie Smith. The show airs at 8 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

Last respects: Possibly the most beloved broadcaster in the Northwest, Ford C. Frick Award winner Dave Niehaus will be honored Saturday with a ceremony at Safeco Field. Gates open at 12 p.m. PT and the ceremony will be carried live on six different outlets in the Pacific Northwest region. Niehaus’ son and daughter will be on hand for the ceremony, which will also feature video tribute from fellow Frick Award winners Vin Scully, Jon Miller, Joe Garagiola and Marty Brennaman.

Trevor Hayes is the editorial production manager at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

2010 Ford C. Frick Award winner to be announced in February

Muder_90.jpgBy Craig Muder

As Spring Training approaches, the sounds of baseball are making their return to Florida and Arizona.

But fans will really know the 2010 season is at hand when their favorite broadcasters return to the airwaves with the debut of the exhibition season.

01-21-10-Muder_AllenBarber.jpgFor many, the National Pastime is incomplete without the voices and descriptions of the men and women on radio and television. And during the first week of February, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will honor the best of the best with the announcement of the winner of the 2010 Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters.

The 10 finalists for the 2010 Frick Award will be considered by the Frick Award Committee, which consists of the 15 living Frick Award winners and five historians. The Committee consists of past honorees Marty Brennaman, Jerry Coleman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Ernie Harwell, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Dave Niehaus, Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker and Bob Wolff – and historians/columnists Bob Costas, Barry Horn, Stan Isaacs, Ted Patterson and Curt Smith.

The 10 finalists for the 2010 Frick Award are: Billy Berroa, Skip Caray, Tom Cheek, Jacques Doucet, Lanny Frattare, Graham McNamee, Jon Miller, Joe Nuxhall, Herb Score and Dave Van Horne. Bios of each of the 10 finalists are being posted daily at www.baseballhall.org.

The 2010 Ford C. Frick Award winner will be honored at Hall of Fame Induction Weekend July 23-26 in Cooperstown.

Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Lloyd Monsen: left wing and pitcher at the 1952 Olympics

Shieber_90.jpgBy Tom Shieber

We’re unveiling a new exhibit titled Olympic Baseball. As you might guess, it is a celebration of the history of baseball in the Olympics. What you may not know is that our national pastime has been played at the Olympics for almost 100 years, starting with a pair of exhibition games at the 1912 Games in Stockholm.

Baseball was also played at the 1936 Games in Berlin, the ’56 Games in Melbourne, Australia, and the ’64 Games in Tokyo. But perhaps the most surprising and obscure appearance of baseball in the Olympics took place at the 1952 Games in Helsinki, Finland.

That summer, the Olympics featured an exhibition of pespallo, a popular Finnish game adapted from our game of baseball. Famed sportswriter and future J.G. Taylor Spink Award-winner Red Smith witnessed the game and wrote: “[Pespallo] was invented by Lauri Pihkala, a professor who wears a hearing aid and believes his game was modeled on baseball. Somebody must have described baseball to him when his battery was dead.”

4-27-09-Shieber_Olympics.jpgApparently, the local Olympic organizing committee invited the U.S. to play a game of baseball (the original game, not the Finnish version) against a champion team from Finland. Walter Giesler, coach of the U.S. soccer team and a future Soccer Hall of Famer, was tasked with organizing the baseball team. With his soccer team quickly eliminated from the Olympics, bowing to the Italians, 8-0 ,on July 16, he had a surplus of top athletes with little to do. Why not play baseball?

The U.S. played a practice game against Venezuela on July 29, posting a 14-6 victory, then followed that up with the main contest against the Finns, a 19-1 drubbing played at Helsinki Football Stadium on Aug. 5.

As lead curator of the exhibit, I wanted to make sure that we featured artifacts from each Olympiad in which baseball was played. The one hole was the Helsinki contests. I immediately set to work trying to track down some of the soccer players from the 1952 U.S. team in hopes that they might provide some leads.

Finding out who was on the U.S. soccer squad was no problem, as the team is well-documented and featured quite a few “name” players. Besides Coach Giesler, the team featured five other future Soccer Hall of Famers: Charlie Colombo, Harry Keough, Lloyd Monsen, Willy Schaller and John Souza.

Of these greats, four — Colombo, Giesler, Keough and Souza — were members of the famed U.S. soccer team that stunned England, 1-0, at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil. The victory is considered by many to be the greatest moment in U.S. soccer history … and the worst in the storied history of English soccer.

Working my way alphabetically through the list of six Hall of Famers, I turned my attention to Colombo. Like many others on the Olympic soccer team, Colombo hailed from St. Louis, a city that has long been a hotbed of soccer talent. Like baseball legends Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola, Colombo grew up in St. Louis’ Italian neighborhood known as “Dago Hill,” today referred to as simply “The Hill.” But Colombo passed away over 20 years ago, so I turned my attention to Harry Keough.

Harry was, and still is, a legend in St. Louis. Not only did he win a national junior championship, play on the 1950 U.S. team that toppled England and participate in two Olympic Games (1952 and ’56), but he also went on to coach the St. Louis University Billikens to five NCAA men’s soccer championships. Fortunately, I was able to contact his son Ty, a great player in his own right as well as a television soccer analyst. Unfortunately, my timing was off. Ty informed me that his father was out of the country.

Next: Lloyd Monsen.

Monsen, who played left wing for U.S. Olympic soccer team, was born and raised in Brooklyn. Some cursory research led me to believe that he might still be living in the area, but in checking on the Web, I found that not only was there no “Lloyd Monsen” listed in Brooklyn, there was no one by that name in the entire state of New York. I decided to “go for it” and searched for any Lloyd Monsen in the country … and found just one!

I made the cold call to Clearwater, Fla., and when a man answered the phone, I introduced myself and asked if this was Lloyd Monsen.

“Yes.”

Was this the same Lloyd Monsen who played soccer at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki?

“Yes.”

Did he know anything about the baseball games that were played that summer in Finland?

“Not only did I play in those games, I was the starting pitcher.”

Unbelievable! Lloyd was, and is, as sharp as a tack and went on to describe the baseball games in surprising detail. He recalled that U.S. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. threw out the first pitch before the game against Finland, and noted that the host country supplied all the baseball equipment.

Thankfully, Lloyd kept quite a few souvenirs from his Olympic experience in Finland, and he has graciously loaned us the patch from his team jacket along with his official Olympic ID for our exhibit. These wonderful artifacts are just two of over 50 that are featured in our Olympic Baseball exhibit, now open on the second floor of the Museum.

Tom Shieber is senior curator of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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