AIRDATE: 07/04/09, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
HOST: DONNA WALKER
“TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME,” 4th OF JULY BASEBALL SPECIAL
Today, on Pacifica Performance Showcase, we take you out to the ballgame with a look at America’s favorite past-time, with some classic radio recordings from Fred Allen, the 1945 Abbott and Costello favorite “Who’s on First”, and a homerun finish with De Wolf Hopper’s recitation of Ernest Thayer’s “Casey at the Bat.” The Fred Allen Show, which ran from 1942 through 1949, was considered relevant and daring radio in its day, with humor well ahead of its time. Allen died in 1956, but his innovative sketches and formats paved the way for satirists and comedians for years to come. Culled from the Pacifica Radio Archives and originally recorded on April 25, 1948, this NBC broadcast features Fred mixing it up with baseball Hall of Famer Leo Durocher. Controversial and outspoken, “Leo the Lip,” is often attributed with coining the phrase “nice guys finish last. The broadcast hints at Leo’s year-long suspension from the game for his “association with known gamblers”. During his tenure as manager with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he is credited with helping to break through the color barrier which his support and admiration of Jackie Robinson. Durocher would later go on to win the World Series in 1954 as manager of the New York Giants, cultivating the talents of Willie Mays, among others, while continuing his own illustrious career as baseball icon and television celebrity.
Copies can be ordered through the Pacifica Radio Archives.