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Sports on New York Radio Hardcover – February 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In the 1920s something called radio began to change the way sports fans could track their teams. Previously, newspapers had been their only source of information. As radio caught on several far-sighted entrepreneurs, recognizing its power and potential, helped it become the sports fan's medium. Sports on New York Radio: A Play-by-Play History gives readers a look at the beginnings of New York radio and how the city's broadcasters shaped the face of radio throughout the nation. The play-by-play announcer, from Graham McNamee in the 1920s through Mel Allen, Phil Rizzuto, and Red Barber, to today's top voices, have touched millions of listeners for generations. The stories behind the broadcasts and the men whose voices brought them to life are covered in this provocative and hugely entertaining history.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570281971
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570281976
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,280,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By johnkmoyna@aol.com on March 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Having grown up in ny in the 40s and 50s listening to all the sports on the radio, this book was a great match to my interests. Like the author, I have a passion for sports broadcast history and have extensive data on the subject myself; to my pleasant suprise, I did not find a single factual inaccuracy in the entire book! The broadcast histories are the most comprehensive I've ever seen; moreover, the author brings to life the voices of ny sports with highly readable biographies and critiques; in terms of detail, this book goes far beyond anything ever published; anyone whose husband, father or grandfather grew up listening to the Stanley Cup champion Rangers (either the 1940 or 1994 version), Warm Up Time and Sports Extra, the Yankees, Dodgers and Giants, the Knicks (or even the New Jersey Americans, Brooklyn Tigers, the Golden Blades or the weekly fights at St Nick's Arena) should order this book and gift wrap it immediately; had I not already given this gift to myself, it would be the most appreciated gift I could imagine!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By V. Gardino on October 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Halberstam has compiled an exceptionally well written history of sports broadcasting in the Big Apple. His research is phenominal. The anecdotes that he has compiled make you just breeze through this great page turner. If you want a behind the scenes look at sports broadcasting this is the book for you! Halberstam's prose is witty and concise. Anyone would enjoy this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on September 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If ever one of my book reviews deserved five stars this is it in spades. David Halberstam, a great author on numerous subjects, has provided us with a comprehensive history of the great names that have graced the radio sports scene in New York. The book is filled with anecdotes that reveal the personalities of such greats as Graham McNamee, Ted Husing, Red Barber, Mel Allen, Don Dunphy, Phil Rizzuto, Marv Albert, Marty Glickman, Clem McCarthy, Russ Hodges, Jim Woods, Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy, and numerous others. Anyone who ever reported sports on radio in New York is in here. Separate chapters are devoted to boxing, hockey, college and pro football, basketball, the Brooklyn Dodgers, the New York Giants, the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, talk radio, and his personal experience of a mistake he, himself, made while doing a game for the Miami Heat basketball team. The book concludes with a final section on references that cover most anything you may want to know on this subject. Halberstan says that baseball voices are not paid for how they describe a play, but how they handle airtime between plays. We are treated to a number of Vin Scully phrases such as when the Brewers and Cardinals, both sponsored by beer companies, played in the 1982 World Series. Scully said, "There will be no bad hops in this Series." An interesting tidbit is that Connie Desmond and Al Helfer are the only individuals that have covered the Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants. An interesting, but puzzling, story is told when Halberstam asked the general manager of a radio station in Talahassee, Florida, to arrange for him to spend a half hour with Red Barber. Barber was cordial, but could be cold with visitors. The author said he had so much to ask him.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eric Paddon on January 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David J. Halberstam (not to be confused with the more well-known David Halberstam) has written one of the best reference books ever on sports broadcasting, focusing on the history of radio play by play in New York City from its inception in the 20s to the present. Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey etc. are all given equal treatment in their own chapters, and while this can lead to occasionally repetitive information, that in no way detracts from the opportunity to enjoy this work. Only Curt Smith's "Voices Of The Game" has ever done anything similar to what Halberstam has done in this instance. I was glad to see Halberstam correct the injustice Smith's book did to the late Frank Messer by giving him due credit for his 18 years of outstanding work on the Yankees broadcast team (but I have to dissent from Halberstam's negative view of current Yankees voice John Sterling and think its not fair to cite one disgruntled anonymous letter to the Post as a bellwether of how Yankee fans feel about his work), and other voices of New York sports like Mel Allen, Red Barber, Marty Glickman, Marv Albert, Jim Gordon etc. also receive attention for their fine work over the years with various teams. Along the way you'll learn all kinds of fascinating trivia you never would have expected. Did you know Monty Hall of "Let's Make A Deal" spent a season as a Rangers color analyst in 1960? Or that the Mets were on one of the weakest stations in NY during their amazing run in 69? That's just the tip of some of the fascinating material you'll learn in this book. Bravo to David Halberstam for giving us this must-have reference guide that collectors of historic broadcasts me can never be without!
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