By Saam

Byrum Fred "By" Saam, Jr. (September 11, 1914 – January 16, 2000) was an American sportscaster. He was best known as the first full-time voice of baseball in Philadelphia.

Early life

Saam was born in Fort Worth, Texas, where he attended high school with Ben Hogan. He was the public address announcer at high school football games and began calling them on the radio even before he graduated. While at Texas Christian University (where he was a classmate of Sammy Baugh), he broadcast Southwest Conference football games, many of which aired on CBS Radio's College Football Roundup.

Ted Husing, CBS's main sportscaster, heard some of Saam's work and suggested that Saam apply for a job at WCCO in Minneapolis in 1934. The station asked him to do a baseball audition. While Saam had played baseball in high school, he'd never broadcast it before. However, he did well enough to get the job and soon became the station's lead sportscaster. He called the Triple A Minneapolis Millers, re-created the 1935 World Series, and called University of Minnesota football.

In Philadelphia

First year

Moving to WCAU in Philadelphia in 1937, he called Temple, University of Pennsylvania and Villanova football games. He was soon noticed by the owners of both major league ballclubs in Philadelphia, the Athletics and the Phillies.

Phillies and Athletics

In 1938, Saam became the first full-time voice of the Athletics; he added the Phillies the next year and continued this double duty for 12 seasons. This was possible since both teams shared Shibe Park and almost never played at home on the same day. For most of Saam's tenure, the A's and Phillies were also-rans; indeed, he didn't call a winning team until 1947, with the A's. He was behind the microphone for over 4,000 losses—by one estimate, the most of any baseball announcer ever. His descriptive play-by-play flair earned Saam the nickname "The Man of a Zillion Words." Although he lived in the Delaware Valley for the rest of his life, he always spoke with a soft Texas accent.

After both Philadelphia teams began airing road games live in 1950, Saam was forced to drop one team since no radio station could handle the full load. He chose to drop the Phillies, since he and Athletics owner/manager Connie Mack had been longtime friends. As luck would have it, the 1950 Phillies won their first National League pennant in 35 years, while the A's finished with the worst record in baseball. Saam and partner Claude Haring did Athletics games until the team left for Kansas City after the 1954 season.

Later years with the Phillies

After the Athletics moved to Kansas City, Saam returned to the Phillies in 1955. He was joined by Bill Campbell in 1962; the pair was joined by former Phillies outfielder Richie Ashburn a year later. Campbell left in 1970 and was replaced by Harry Kalas. They broadcast Phillies games until Saam's retirement in 1975. Ironically, the year after Saam retired, the Phillies won the National League East, their first postseason appearance of any kind since 1950—meaning that for the second time in his career, a case of bad timing had cost Saam a chance at calling a pennant or division winner. For this reason, Kalas and Ashburn invited Saam into the booth for the division-clinching game and let him call the last half-inning. The Phillies also added him to the broadcast team during the NLCS.[1][2] Ashburn later said, "Thirty-eight years and no winner. Damn right he deserved a title."

Despite having never called a pennant or division winner in Philadelphia, Saam did call 13 no-hitters, including Jim Bunning's perfect game in 1964. He also broadcast the World Series for NBC Radio in 1959 and 1965.

While most announcers of his era were unabashed "homers", Saam rarely rooted for the Phillies and A's from the booth. In a book that he started but never finished before his death, he said that he "never felt it would serve any constructive purpose" to criticize umpires, even when it was obvious they'd missed a call. Campbell recalled that Saam's philosophy in life was "rolling along"; his composure never changed during big wins or losing streaks that seemed to last forever.[1]

Other broadcasting areas

Away from baseball, he worked games for the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL and Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA. He was one of the broadcasters during Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in 1962. Saam was also the first announcer of a nationally-televised NFL game on Thanksgiving: he was at the microphone in Detroit on November 26, 1953 when the Lions beat the Green Bay Packers, 34-15. The game was carried on the now-defunct DuMont Network.

Saam was also called games of the Eastern Hockey League's Philadelphia Ramblers: on January 8, 1961, the Ramblers visited the New York Rovers at the Long Island Arena with Saam broadcasting the third period and overtime back to Philadelphia.

Saam was known for the occasional slip-up on the air. For example, he once opened a game by saying, "Hello, Byrum Saam, this is everybody speaking." (This goof has also been credited to other announcers, including Lindsey Nelson and Phil Rizzuto.) Prior to Game 5 of the 1959 World Series, when Mel Allen introduced the NBC Radio audience to "amiable, affable, able Byrum Saam", a distracted Saam unthinkingly replied, "Right you are, Mel Allen." Once, Saam created a beheading when Alex Johnson, the Phillies' left fielder, chased a fly ball: "Alex Johnson is going back. He's going back, back. His head hits the wall. He reaches down, picks it up, and throws into second base."[3] (Jerry Coleman made a similar statement about Dave Winfield in a San Diego Padres broadcast.)

Later life

In 1990, Byrum Saam was awarded the Ford Frick Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame for excellence in broadcasting. Ashburn was later honored by the Hall of Fame as a player, and Kalas won the Frick Award in 2002.

By Saam was inducted into the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in 1993.

He took classes to learn the 'Philadelphia accent.' He had three children with his wife Anne and has six grandchildren, including Byrum "Jake" Saam.

Saam died in 2000 in Devon, Pennsylvania.


  1. ^ a b Stark, Jayson (January 17, 2000). "Phillies Broadcaster By Saam Dies at 85". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. A1.
  2. ^ Silary, Ted (August 2, 1983). "Phillies' Great Moments". Philadelphia Daily News. p. 70.
  3. ^ Sisak, Michael (August 13, 1990). "No Loss of Eloquence". New York Times.

External links

1940 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1940 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 58th season in the history of the franchise. The team, managed by Doc Prothro, began their third season at Shibe Park and were picked by 73 of 76 writers in the pre-season Associated Press poll of baseball writers to finish last. The Phillies lost 103 games and finished last, 50 games behind the pennant-winning Cincinnati Reds.

1945 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1945 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 52 wins and 98 losses.

1949 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1949 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 5th in the American League with a record of 81 wins and 73 losses.

1950 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1950 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 52 wins and 102 losses. It would be 88-year-old Connie Mack's 50th and last as A's manager, a North American professional sports record. During that year the team wore uniforms trimmed in blue and gold, in honor of the Golden Jubilee of "The Grand Old Man of Baseball."

1952 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1952 Philadelphia Athletics season saw the A's finish fourth in the American League with a record of 79 wins and 75 losses. They finished 16 games behind the eventual World Series Champion New York Yankees. The Athletics' 1952 campaign would be their final winning season in Philadelphia; it would also be their only winning season of the 1950s. The Athletics would have to wait until 1968, their first season in Oakland, for their next winning record.

1953 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1953 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 7th in the American League with a record of 59 wins and 95 losses, 41½ games behind the New York Yankees, who would win their fifth consecutive World Series Championship. It was also the penultimate season for the franchise in Philadelphia.

1954 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1954 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 51 wins and 103 losses, 60 games behind AL Champion Cleveland in their 54th and final season in Philadelphia, before moving to Kansas City, Missouri for the following season.

3 Words (song)

"3 Words" is a song recorded by English singer Cheryl Cole for her 2009 debut studio album of the same name. It was released in the UK and Ireland on 20 December 2009 by Fascination Records and later in 2010 by Universal Music, sometimes serving as the lead single for 3 Words. The uptempo dance-pop song was written by Cole and George Pajon. It was also written and produced by who has guest vocals on the song. "3 Words" was cited by Cole as her favourite song from the album for being different from what people expected.

"3 Words" was praised by contemporary critics, who said it was "a sophisticated love song" and the "standout track" from the album. Its unconventional production abandons the use of "verse-chorus-verse" structure, instead opting for a throbbing buildup to a climax. The accompanying video, directed by Saam, features the singer in various fashion ensembles often contrasting colour with, and paying homage to Madonna. It also makes use of split screen cinematography and camera effects for the transition of scenes.

The song was promoted on Cheryl Cole's Night In. The single was less commercially successful compared to its predecessor "Fight for This Love" but despite not peaking at number one, it went on to become Cole's second consecutive UK top-five and Irish-top ten hit. It was also a top five hit in Australia and has since been certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association and silver by the British Phonographic Industry.

Blind (Hercules and Love Affair song)

"Blind" is the first single from the eponymous debut album by Hercules and Love Affair.


Byrum may refer to:

Byrum (surname)

Byrum Fred Saam, Jr., known as By Saam, sportscaster

Byrum, Denmark, the main town of the Danish island Læsø

"Byrum", the name given to the alien antagonists of Stephen King's novel Dreamcatcher

Deaths in January 2000

The following is a list of notable deaths in January 2000.

Entries for each day are listed alphabetically by surname. A typical entry lists information in the following sequence:

Name, age, country of citizenship at birth, subsequent country of citizenship (if applicable), reason for notability, cause of death (if known), and reference.

Feedback (song)

"Feedback" is a song by American recording artist Janet Jackson, released as the lead single from her tenth studio album, Discipline. It was written and produced by Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins and D'Mile, with additional writing from Tasleema Yasin and LaShawn Daniels. "Feedback" fuses electropop and dance, while also incorporating elements of Eurodance and hip hop. Its lyrical composition is based on Jackson's sexual bravado; questioning the listener while responding with a chant of "sexy, sexy". Its chorus compares her body to instruments such as a guitar and amplifier, using metaphors to demonstrate sexual climax.

Several music critics praised its dance sound and contrast from her prior release. It reached number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and peaked atop the Hot Dance Club Play chart, becoming her highest-peaking single since "Someone to Call My Lover." Internationally, it topped the charts in South Korea and reached the top ten in Canada, Greece, Slovakia and South Africa.

Its music video, directed by Saam Farahmand, portrays Jackson jumping from various planets before dancing among an unidentified white liquid. The video received positive reception from critics, who praised its galactic visuals and choreography. Jackson performed "Feedback" on Good Morning America, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and TRL - the latter being Jackson's first appearance on MTV since her 2004 Super Bowl performance incident. "Feedback" received three nominations at the International Dance Music Awards.

Islands (The xx song)

"Islands" is a song recorded by English indie pop band The xx for their self-titled debut studio album. Written by band-members Jamie Smith, Oliver Sim, Romy Madley Croft and then-member Baria Qureshi, "Islands" is a dark and simple indie pop track. It also contains influences from house music and features instrumentation from guitars and synthesizers. Croft and Sim, who provided vocals in the track, sing about themes related to loyalty and love. "Islands" was released on 26 October 2009 as the third single from the album by Young Turks in 7-inch single and digital download formats. In March 2010, the song was re-released as a 12-inch single.

Critically well received, "Islands" was praised for its melody and the vocal performances of Croft and Sim. It was later ranked at number 28 on NME magazine's list of the "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years". The song became the band's highest peaking single in the United Kingdom after it reached number 34 on the UK Singles Chart. It also peaked at number three on the UK Indie Chart. An accompanying music video for "Islands" was directed by Saam Farahmand, and consists of numerous tracking shots that show six dancers performing a dance routine around the members of the band. Every different shot features a slight change in the expression, gestures, and movement of the dancers and band-members. Critics complimented the concept of the video, and felt it was representative of The xx's musical style. The band performed the song live at the iTunes Festival in 2010 and it was also included on the set list of their 2010 and 2013 tour.

A cover version of "Islands" was recorded by Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira for inclusion in her ninth studio album Sale el Sol (2010). The cover followed a very similar instrumentation to the original version, but featured a faster tempo and more house elements. Shakira performed the cover live at the 2010 Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, Somerset.

James Righton

James Nicholas Righton (born 25 August 1983) is an English musician. As well as singing, he was the keyboard-player of the London-based new rave band Klaxons, which disbanded in 2015. In March 2016, Righton announced his new project Shock Machine with a video directed by Saam Farahmand.

List of Philadelphia Phillies broadcasters

The following is a list of Philadelphia Phillies broadcasters.

NFL on DuMont

The NFL on DuMont was an American television program that broadcast National Football League games on the now defunct DuMont Television Network. The program ran from 1951 to 1955.

Prototype (Viktoria Modesta song)

"Prototype" is a song by Latvian/British singer-songwriter Viktoria Modesta. The song was written by Modesta and Hero and was produced by Roy Kerr.

Music critics were mostly positive toward "Prototype", praising the song's empowering message and Modesta's vocal delivery. A music video for "Prototype" was directed by Saam Farahmand.


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