cover image Sports on New York Radio

Sports on New York Radio

David Halberstam. McGraw-Hill Companies, $24.95 (432pp) ISBN 978-1-57028-197-6

Can you name the original three New York Mets' announcers? Who did the play-by-play for the Jets when they won Super Bowl III? Why did Red Barber leave the Dodgers for the Yankees? And did you know that New York had three pro football teams after WWII? Halberstam, the radio voice of the NBA's Miami Heat (and not to be confused with the prominent journalist and author of the same name), has collected it all in a book that not only tells you who the announcers were but how they got their jobs and also who the sponsors were (remember Schaeffer beer, Nedick's and Howard Clothes?). All major league teams are covered, plus college basketball and football. Readers will learn that Marty Glickman was the original voice of the Knicks and that he helped bring along a young protege by the name of Marv Albert. Some may be surprised to learn that the Giants, Dodgers and Yankees banned radio in the 1930s--they thought it would drive attendance down--until Larry McPhail brought in Red Barber to do the Dodger play-by-play. When Dodger attendance soared, the Giants and Yankees rushed to the airwaves. There are also hilarious stories recalling some of Mets' announcer Ralph Kiner's malapropisms (catcher Gary Carter was always Gary Cooper) and the football Giants' Jim Gordon breathlessly telling his audience that ""he's down at the 55-yard line."" Halberstam has written a book chock full of facts, rich in anecdote, personality and sports history that will be a pleasure for New York sports fans--especially those who admit to being at least 40 years old. Photos. (Feb.)