Committee member Bill Dunstone has shared with us this terrific find: an article, first published in the Sporting News in 1939, about former ballplayers who were set to take the booth that season, after having taken the field for various teams for so many seasons previous to that. The best part of this picture, to us, is that no fewer than five of the players pictured here are Hall of Famers.
We can positively identify this as being from 1939 since that is the only year Walter Johnson, arguably the greatest pitcher in the history of the game and the only player/broadcaster here that was already in the Hall (elected in its inaugural class in 1936), did the radio broadcasts for the Washington Senators for WJSV.
Two other future Hall of Famers in this picture who were doing play by play in 1939 were Harry Heilmann (Tigers on WXYZ; he broadcast for the team from 1934 to 1950), and Frankie Frisch (doing Red Sox and Bees games on WAAB; he also did Giants games on TV and radio in 1947 and 1948). Frisch was voted into the Hall in 1947; Heilmann was elected in 1952.
The final two Hall of Famers pictured here were doing studio work that season. Waite Hoyt, selected by the Veterans’ Committee in 1969, did pregame broadcasts for the Yankees and Giants on WABC in 1939, but later he would do radio play by play for the Reds from 1942 to 1965. Freddie Lindstrom, a Veterans’ Committee selection in 1976, spent the season in question working at WLS in Chicago.
Even though the pictures of the men themselves is very grainy, the accompanying story is very legible. Thank you, Bill, for sharing this with us!
If you, too, have any interesting artifacts, such as pictures, stories, video files, audio files or anything of the like, please feel free to contact us so we can share them with our readership as well.
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