Russ Hodges

Russell Pleasant "Russ" Hodges (June 18, 1910 – April 19, 1971)[1] was an American sportscaster who did play-by-play for several baseball teams, most notably the New York and San Francisco Giants.

Russ Hodges 1955
Russ Hodges in 1955

Early career

Born in Dayton, Tennessee, Hodges began his broadcasting career in 1934. He was sports editor of WBT, Charlotte, North Carolina until October 1941, when he moved full-time to WOL in Washington, D.C., where he had already been doing play-by-play for the Washington Redskins.[2] He worked for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, and Cincinnati Reds before landing in New York City with the New York Yankees and New York Giants, who during much of the 1940s only broadcast home games and shared the same radio team — lead announcer Mel Allen and No. 2 man Hodges.

From April 14, 1948 to April 22, 1949, Hodges hosted the 15-minute DuMont series Scoreboard, also known as Russ Hodges' Scoreboard. In 1949, Hodges became a No. 1 announcer when the Giants and the Yankees separated their radio networks to each broadcast a full, 154-game schedule. He would be the voice of the Giants for the next 22 seasons on both coasts.

Famed 1951 Bobby Thomson home run call

On October 3, 1951, Hodges was on the microphone for Bobby Thomson's famous Shot Heard 'Round the World. It was Hodges who cried, "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"

This famous moment in sports broadcasting was nearly lost. This was in an era before all game broadcasts were recorded. However, in his autobiography, Hodges related how a Brooklyn fan, excited over what appeared to be a certain Dodger victory, hooked up his home tape recorder to his radio. The fan wanted to capture Hodges "crying." Instead, he recorded history; the next day, he called Hodges and said, "You have to have this tape." In reality the fan, Lawrence Goldberg, was a lifelong Giants fan. On the 50th anniversary of the game, he told the New York Times Richard Sandomir about his fateful decision: “I knew I wouldn’t be able to listen to the broadcast and I knew something was going to happen. It was the third game of the playoffs. That kind of game had to be climactic."[3]

Bobby Thomson... up there swingin'... He's had two out of three, a single and a double, and Billy Cox is playing him right on the third-base line... One out, last of the ninth... Branca pitches... Bobby Thomson takes a strike called on the inside corner... Bobby hitting at .292... He's had a single and a double and he drove in the Giants' first run with a long fly to center... Brooklyn leads it 4–2...Hartung down the line at third not taking any chances... Lockman with not too big of a lead at second, but he'll be runnin' like the wind if Thomson hits one... Branca throws... [audible sound of bat meeting ball]

There's a long drive... it's gonna be, I believe...THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! Bobby Thomson hits into the lower deck of the left-field stands! The Giants win the pennant and they're goin' crazy, they're goin' crazy! HEEEY-OH!!!'' [ten-second pause for crowd noise]

I don't believe it! I don't believe it! I do not believe it! Bobby Thomson... hit a line drive... into the lower deck... of the left-field stands... and this blame place is goin' crazy! The Giants! Horace Stoneham has got a winner! The Giants won it... by a score of 5 to 4... and they're pickin' Bobby Thomson up... and carryin' him off the field!

In the years that have followed, Hodges "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!" has been echoed in other sports. Commentators have echoed it when announcing their team's championship victories.[4] Examples of this include Stanley Cup wins by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1974 and the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.

On October 16, 2014, the Giants won the National League pennant on a three-run walk-off homer by Travis Ishikawa, and Fox broadcaster Joe Buck quoted the line as the ball landed in the right-field stands.

This historic call is also preserved at the Hall of Fame at the graphic aspect with the original score sheet Russ Hodges was personally logging. Under Bobby Thomson's name in the ninth inning slot, there begins a long graphite streak across the entire score sheet where Russ Hodges, pencil to the paper awaiting the outcome of the at-bat, jumped up in excitement, and his pencil-holding hand streaked across his score sheet, unintentionally capturing the moment.

In the film The Godfather, Sonny Corleone is listening to this broadcast on his car radio when he is murdered at a toll booth. The broadcast is also used in an episode of M*A*S*H and has been fictionalised in the first chapter of Don DeLillo's epic magnum opus novel, Underworld, (published separately as a novella under the title Pafko at the Wall.)

In the film Parental Guidance, Artie Decker (Billy Crystal) plays the broadcast for his grandson Turner (Joshua Rush), as a way of boosting his self-esteem due to his speech impediment. At the end of the film, Turner delivers the commentary at his sister's recital without a single stutter, receiving a standing ovation.

Later career

When the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958, Hodges followed the club west. He continued working for the team through 1970, when he retired. His signature home run call was, "Bye-Bye, Baby!", a phrase that was set to music as the Giants' theme song during the 1960s.[5] It had previously been the name of another song.

Hodges was also the lead announcer for Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts on CBS from 1948–1955.[6] The most famous fight called by Hodges was Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston, one of the most anticipated, watched, and controversial fights in boxing history. Some other fights Hodges called include Beau Jack vs. Ike Williams, Joe Louis vs. Ezzard Charles, Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Jake LaMotta, Floyd Patterson vs. Hurricane Jackson, and Joe Louis vs. Cesar Brion.[7] Hodges, who had played halfback for the University of Kentucky before suffering a broken ankle in his sophomore year, also broadcast pro and college football at various times in his career, including several years in which he teamed with Giants partner Lon Simmons to call San Francisco 49ers radio broadcasts.

Death and subsequent honors

Hodges died suddenly of a heart attack at age 60 in Mill Valley, California on April 19, 1971.

The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association inducted Hodges into its Hall of Fame in 1975. In 1980, became the fourth recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting from the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2000, the Giants named the broadcast booths in their new ballpark the Hodges-Simmons Broadcast Center in honor of Hodges and his former partner Lon Simmons.[8] In 2008, Hodges was elected into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame, joining his longtime broadcast partner Simmons, who was inducted in 2006.[9]

References

  1. ^ Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. (2 volume set). McFarland. pp. 345–. ISBN 978-0-7864-7992-4.
  2. ^ "Russ Hodges to WOL". Broadcasting and Broadcast Advertising. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 21 (15): 52. October 13, 1931.
  3. ^ Wiles, Tim (September 6, 2018). "Sound On Paper". MLBHOF. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  4. ^ Fleishman, Bill (July 15, 1999). "Hart of the Flyers Icon of Philadelphia Sports Broadcasting Dies". Philadelphia Daily News. p. 102.
  5. ^ Bay Area Radio Museum. bayarearadio.org
  6. ^ Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts / Fight Of The Week. Classicthemes.com. Retrieved on June 14, 2018.
  7. ^ Don Dunphy is the commentator for these exciting classic fights. caytonsports.com
  8. ^ Kroner, Steve (October 6, 2000) Giants Honor Hodges, Simmons. Sfgate.com. Retrieved on 2018-06-14.
  9. ^ Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame

External links

1948–49 United States network television schedule (weekday)

Talk shows are highlighted in yellow, local programming is white, reruns of prime-time programming are orange, game shows are pink, soap operas are chartreuse, news programs are gold and all others are light blue. New series are highlighted in bold.

NOTE: This page is missing info on the DuMont Network, which started daytime transmission before any other United States television network.

1953 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1953 New York Giants season was the franchise's 71st season. The team finished in fifth place in the National League with a 70-84 record, 35 games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.

1955 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1955 New York Giants season was the franchise's 73rd season. The team finished in third place in the National League with an 80-74 record, 18½ games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers. The season ended with the Phillies turning a triple play with the winning run at home plate.

1958 San Francisco Giants season

The 1958 San Francisco Giants season was the franchise's inaugural season in San Francisco, California and 76th season overall. The Giants' home ballpark was Seals Stadium. The team had a record of 80–74 finishing in third place in the National League standings, twelve games behind the NL Champion Milwaukee Braves.

Of the broadcast team, Russ Hodges left his former broadcasting partners in New York and for that season was joined on both KTVU and KSFO by Lon Simmons.

1959 San Francisco Giants season

The 1959 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 77th year in Major League Baseball and their second year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season. The team finished in third place in the National League with an 83-71 record, 4 games behind the World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. It was the team's second and final season at Seals Stadium before moving their games to Candlestick Park the following season.

1960 San Francisco Giants season

The 1960 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 78th year in Major League Baseball. The team moved their home games from Seals Stadium to the new Candlestick Park. In their third season in the Golden Gate City, the Giants finished in fifth place in the National League, 16 games behind the World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

1961 San Francisco Giants season

The 1961 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 79th year in Major League Baseball, their 4th year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their second at Candlestick Park. The team finished in third place in the National League with an 85-69 record, eight games behind the NL Champion Cincinnati Reds. The Giants were managed by Alvin Dark.

1963 San Francisco Giants season

The 1963 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 81st year in Major League Baseball, their sixth year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their fourth at Candlestick Park. The team finished in third place in the National League with an 88-74 record, 11 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1964 San Francisco Giants season

The 1964 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 82nd year in Major League Baseball, their seventh year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their fifth at Candlestick Park. The team finished in fourth place, as a result of their 90–72 record, placing them three games behind the National League and World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

1968 San Francisco Giants season

The 1968 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 86th year in Major League Baseball, their eleventh year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their ninth at Candlestick Park. The team finished in second place in the National League with an 88–74 record, 9 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.

1970 San Francisco Giants season

The 1970 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 88th year in Major League Baseball, their 13th year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 11th at Candlestick Park. The Giants went 86–76, which was good for third place in the National League West, 16 games behind the NL Champion Cincinnati Reds.

Baseball's Greatest Hits

Baseball's Greatest Hits is the name of two different CD collections of songs and other recordings connected with baseball, released in 1989.

The eclectic collections include vintage songs such as Les Brown's "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio" from 1941, Teresa Brewer's 1956 number "I Love Mickey" (with a cameo by Mickey Mantle himself), and Danny Kaye's humorous 1962 recording about the Los Angeles Dodgers. Spoken entries include verbiage such as Russ Hodges' call of Bobby Thomson's pennant-winning home run in 1951, Tommy Lasorda's rant about Dave Kingman, and the Abbott and Costello classic, "Who's on First?".

However, due to licensing restrictions. Rhino was unable to include "Centerfield" by John Fogerty.

Jack Brickhouse

John Beasley "Jack" Brickhouse (January 24, 1916 – August 6, 1998) was an American sportscaster. Known primarily for his play-by-play coverage of Chicago Cubs games on WGN-TV from 1948 to 1981, he received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. In 1985, Brickhouse was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame along with the Voice of the Yankees Mel Allen and Red Sox Voice Curt Gowdy. Brickhouse served as the organization's Secretary/Treasurer and was a member of its board of directors.

Brickhouse also called Chicago White Sox games prior to that team leaving WGN in 1968. He covered national events from time to time, including three World Series for NBC television, although the Cubs never got there during his tenure. The voice on the audio track of the famous Willie Mays catch in Game 1 of the 1954 Series at the Polo Grounds belongs to Brickhouse, who was doing the Series along with the New York Giants' regular broadcaster, Russ Hodges. (Brickhouse himself had called Giants games locally in 1946.) Brickhouse called the 1959 Series, which featured the White Sox with Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, and the 1950 Series with Jim Britt. In addition, Brickhouse partnered with fellow baseball broadcaster Mel Allen for NBC's coverage of the 1952 Rose Bowl, and with Chris Schenkel for the network's coverage of two NFL Championship Games (1956 and 1963).

Brickhouse covered many other events, sports and otherwise (such as professional wrestling, for WGN and political conventions for the Mutual radio network). From 1953 to 1977 he was the voice of Chicago Bears football on WGN-AM radio, in an unlikely and entertaining pairing with the famous Chicago Sun-Times gossip columnist Irv Kupcinet. Brickhouse was a boxing commentator as well. Fights he worked include the 1949 fight between Jersey Joe Walcott and Ezzard Charles and the 1951 fight between Johnny Bratton and Charley Fusari. He did Chicago Bulls basketball games for WGN-TV from 1966 until 1973 as well.

List of New York Yankees broadcasters

As one of the most successful clubs in Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees are also one of its oldest teams. Part of that success derives to its radio and television broadcasts that have been running beginning in 1939 when the first radio transmissions were broadcast from the old stadium, and from 1947 when television broadcasts began. They have been one of the pioneer superstation broadcasts when WPIX became a national superstation in 1978 and were the first American League team to broadcast their games on cable, both first in 1978 and later on in 1979, when Sportschannel NY (now MSG Plus) began broadcasting Yankees games to cable subscribers. Today, the team can be heard and/or seen in its gameday broadcasts during the baseball season on:

TV: YES Network or WPIX channel 11 in New York

Radio: WFAN 660AM and WFAN-FM 101.9 FM in New York; New York Yankees Radio Network; WADO 1280 AM (Spanish) (Cadena Radio Yankees)Longest serving Yankee broadcasters (all-time with 10+ years)

Phil Rizzuto (40 yrs), John Sterling (31 yrs), Mel Allen (30 yrs), Michael Kay (28 yrs), Bobby Murcer (22 yrs), Ken Singleton (23 yrs), Frank Messer (18 yrs), Bill White (18 yrs), Suzyn Waldman (15 yrs), Red Barber (13 yrs), Jim Kaat (13 yrs), Al Trautwig (12 yrs)

Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts

Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts, later The Wednesday Night Fights, was a television program that broadcast boxing matches from New York's Madison Square Garden featuring Russ Hodges, Jack Drees, and Bill Nimmo. It finished at #26 for the 1950-1951 season in the Nielsen ratings, followed by #17 in 1951-1952, #14 in 1952-1953, #23 in 1953-1954 and #25 in 1954-1955. After its cancellation on CBS, the series was picked up by ABC, renamed The Wednesday Night Fights, and continued until 1960.

Kinescopes of some of these matches were later re-broadcast under the title Blue Ribbon Classics. In recent years, ESPN Classic has aired some of the bouts. Most Pabst Blue Ribbon fights can be viewed at TVS Classic Sports Network.Com.

During the 1954-55 season, this show was pre-empted every fourth week by The Best of Broadway, which ran a total of nine episodes for the season.

Russ Hodges (footballer)

Russ Hodges (born 19 July 1953) is a former Australian rules footballer who played with South Melbourne and Fitzroy in the Victorian Football League (VFL).

Scoreboard (TV series)

Scoreboard, also known as Russ Hodges' Scoreboard, was a sports series aired on the DuMont Television Network on Fridays at 6:30pm ET from 14 April 1948 to 22 April 1949. The 15-minute show was hosted by famous sports announcer Russ Hodges.

Shot Heard 'Round the World (baseball)

In baseball, the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" was a game-winning home run by New York Giants outfielder and third baseman Bobby Thomson off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca at the Polo Grounds in New York City on October 3, 1951, to win the National League (NL) pennant. Thomson's dramatic three-run homer came in the ninth inning of the decisive third game of a three-game playoff for the pennant in which the Giants trailed, 4–2.The game—the first ever televised nationally—was seen by millions of viewers across America and heard on radio by millions more, including thousands of American servicemen stationed in Korea, listening on Armed Forces Radio. The classic drama of snatching victory from defeat to secure a pennant was intensified by the epic cross-town rivalry between the Giants and Dodgers, and by a remarkable string of victories in the last weeks of the regular season by the Giants, who won 37 of their last 44 games to catch the first-place Dodgers and force a playoff series to decide the NL champion. The Giants' late-season rally and 2-to-1-game playoff victory, capped by Thomson's moment of triumph, are collectively known in baseball lore as "The Miracle of Coogan's Bluff", a descriptor coined by the legendary sports columnist Red Smith.The phrase "shot heard 'round the world" is from the poem "Concord Hymn" (1837) by Ralph Waldo Emerson about the first clash of the American Revolutionary War. It later became popularly associated with Thomson's homer and several other dramatic historical moments.

BBWAA Vote
Veterans Committee
J. G. Taylor Spink Award
Ford C. Frick Award
Inductees in Yankees cap
Inductees who played
for the Yankees
Yankees' managers
Yankees' executives
Frick Award

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