France Laux

J. Francis "France" Laux Jr. (December 3, 1897[1] – November 16, 1978) was an American sportscaster, notable as the first full-time radio voice of Major League Baseball in St. Louis.

France Laux
Born
J. Francis Laux Jr.

December 3, 1897
DiedNovember 16, 1978 (aged 80)
Sports commentary career
Team(s)St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Browns
Genre(s)Play-by-play
SportsMajor League Baseball

Biography

Early life

Laux was born in Guthrie, Oklahoma, the son of a local judge, J. Francis Laux Sr., and his wife. The nickname "France" came from schoolmates. Heavily involved in sports, Laux won 16 letters in baseball, basketball, and football in Oklahoma City and Bristow schools before entering Oklahoma City College.[1]

He served in the Army Air Service during World War I; after the war, his jobs included managing a semi-pro baseball team in Guthrie, Oklahoma.[1] He also worked as an insurance and real estate broker in Bristow (a suburb of Tulsa), refereeing college football games part-time.

On the eve of the 1927 World Series, KVOO station manager Fred Yates did not have anyone to recreate the games. Someone mentioned Laux' name. Yates found him and took him to the studio. Later in the year, he began broadcasting Oklahoma and Oklahoma A&M football games as well. He was the first to introduce Gene Autry on the radio.

Career in St. Louis

Laux' work soon came to the attention of the management at KMOX in St. Louis, who invited him there for a 30-day trial as the voice of both the Cardinals and Browns in 1929. This arrangement was possible because the Cardinals and Browns shared Sportsman's Park, and almost never played on the same day. As it turned out, 30 days became 24 years.

Laux became very popular, in large part because, at the time, the Cardinals were the southernmost and westernmost team in Major League Baseball. As such, their radio network blanketed large chunks of the Midwest and Southwest. Also, KMOX was a 50,000-watt clear channel powerhouse, with virtual coast-to-coast coverage at night.

A 1936 newspaper article about Laux noted that his work at KMOX included "broadcasting all baseball, football, hockey, boxing, wrestling, basketball and horse races besides carrying on his regular duties as chief announcer."[2] In addition to broadcasting live sporting events, Laux had his own daily 15-minute program on KMOX in the late 1930s.[3] In the 1940s he wrote the Hyde Park Sports Letter, a four-page publication that highlighted national and St. Louis sports.

Laux was the voice of both the Cardinals and Browns until 1942. He broadcast solely for the Cardinals in 1943. After only one season, he stepped down, but returned in 1948 as the voice of the Browns. He went into semi-retirement after that season, but called weekend games until the end of the 1953 season, the Browns' last in St. Louis. In the late 1950s he and Jack Buck hosted a program called Batting Practice, which served as a pre-game show for telecasts of Cardinals road games on KTVI-TV.[4]

Career at CBS and Mutual

His popularity soon gained Laux notice with CBS, which had bought KMOX shortly after the start of the 1929 season. He called the World Series for CBS from 1933 to 1938, and the first eight All-Star Games from 1933 to 1941, the last three of those for Mutual. He turned down offers to broadcast for the Yankees and Giants in New York, preferring to stay in St. Louis, where he had a huge following. He won the first Sporting News Announcer of the Year Award in 1937.

Later life

After 1953, Laux turned his attention to a bowling house he had bought in St. Louis after the war. He also served as secretary of the American Bowling Congress for many years.

Family

On December 3, 1928, Laux married Pearl Genevieve Boyer (1900-1976), a professional singer. Laux had two sons with Boyer, France Albert Laux (1929-2012) and Roger Harry Laux[1] (1930-1981). His remains are interred, with those of his wife Pearl, in Calvary Cemetery, Edwardsville, Illinois.

References

Patterson, Ted (2002). The Golden Voices of Baseball. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing L.L.C. ISBN 1-58261-498-9

  1. ^ a b c d "One of Baseball's Most Widely Known Announcers". Jefferson City Post-Tribune. January 27, 1937. p. 15. Retrieved June 29, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  2. ^ Millard, Howard V. (June 14, 1936). "Laux, Favorite St. Louis Sports Announcer, Rates Near Top in Profession". The Decatur Herald. p. 16. Retrieved June 29, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  3. ^ "CBS-(KMOX 1090 Kc.)". The Edwardsville Intelligencer. August 19, 1937. p. 9. Retrieved June 29, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  4. ^ "France Laux Is Speaker At Bowling Dinner Here". Mt. Vernon Register-News. May 14, 1957. p. 8. Retrieved June 29, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
1929 St. Louis Browns season

The 1929 St. Louis Browns season involved the Browns finishing 4th in the American League with a record of 79 wins and 73 losses.

1929 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1929 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 48th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 38th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 78–74 during the season and finished 4th in the National League.

1930 St. Louis Browns season

The 1930 St. Louis Browns season involved the Browns finishing 6th in the American League with a record of 64 wins and 90 losses.

1933 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1933 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 52nd season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 42nd season in the National League. The Cardinals went 82–71 during the season and finished fifth in the National League.

1934 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1934 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the second playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 10 at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, the home of the New York Giants of the National League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 9–7.

The game is well known among baseball historians for the performance of NL starting pitcher Carl Hubbell. After allowing the first two batters to reach base on a single and a base on balls, Hubbell struck out five of the game's best hitters – Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin – in succession, setting a longstanding All-Star Game record for consecutive strikeouts.

1935 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1935 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the third playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 8, 1935, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, hosted by the Cleveland Indians of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 4–1.

1936 St. Louis Browns season

The 1936 St. Louis Browns season involved the Browns finishing 7th in the American League with a record of 57 wins and 95 losses.

1937 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1937 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the fifth playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 7, 1937, at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., the home of the Washington Senators of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 8–3.

The game, watched by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is remembered because of a play in which Earl Averill of the Indians hit a ball that struck pitcher Dizzy Dean on the toe, breaking it. Complications of this injury shortened the career of the future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher.

1938 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1938 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the sixth playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 6, 1938, at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio, the home of the Cincinnati Reds of the National League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 4–1.

1938 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1938 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 57th season in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, and the 47th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 71–80 during the season and finished 6th in the National League.

1939 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1939 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the seventh playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 11, 1939, at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York City, the home of the New York Yankees of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 3–1.

1940 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1940 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the eighth playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 9, 1940, at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, Missouri, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 4–0.

1940 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1940 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 59th season in St. Louis, Missouri and 49th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 84–69 during the season and finished 3rd in the National League.

1941 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1941 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the ninth playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 8, 1941, at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, the home of the Detroit Tigers of the American League.

Aegirosaurus

Aegirosaurus is an extinct genus of platypterygiine ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs known from the late Jurassic and early Cretaceous of Europe.

Laux

Laux may refer to:

Constance Laux (born 1952), American writer of romance novels

Dorianne Laux (born 1952), American poet

France Laux (1897–1978), American sportscaster, the first full-time radio voice of baseball in St. Louis

Philipp Laux (born 1973), German former footballer, now Sports psychologist

List of Major League Baseball All-Star Game broadcasters

The following is a list of the American radio and television networks and announcers that have broadcast the Major League Baseball All-Star Game over the years.

Major League Baseball on Mutual

Major League Baseball on Mutual was the de facto title of the Mutual Broadcasting System's (MBS) national radio coverage of Major League Baseball games. Mutual's coverage came about during the Golden Age of Radio in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. During this period, television sports broadcasting was in its infancy, and radio was still the main form of broadcasting baseball. For many years, Mutual was the national radio broadcaster for baseball's All-Star Game and World Series.

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