'38 World Series at KCRJ
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Tales of Yore

by

Grandpa Hubbard

The World Series 1938

 

I was introduced to Baseball and the World Series suddenly and in an unusual manner. I answered the phone to a call from a radio station in Phoenix, Arizona and a voice asking to speak to my father. Since he was in California I asked if there was any message. The caller, by now satisfied to talk to me asked, "Would you like to broadcast the World Series this year?" I knew what the World Series was, but that was about all. After a few minutes of talk I found that the caller was at a radio station that could not accept the series this year because they were on the wrong broadcast network. The cost to us would be about $500.00 to cover the telephone line service. With this information I said I would have an answer within the hour. I should explain that I was in the studio of Radio Station KCRJ, Jerome, Arizona and was one of the only two employees running the station. The other employee, a licensed radio operator, left all the office and broadcast duties to me and in the absence of my father I was in charge. I should mention that at the time I was 18 years old, and with only a year of fatherly training found myself in this position. In 1938 the gross income of the station was not much more than $500.00 per month. With what little knowledge I had of World Series baseball and network broadcasting I went uptown to see what our local advertisers thought of this offer. I only had to visit the local drugstore owner to realize that he was sure there was no problem of funding and I should go ahead. With this assurance I called the Phoenix station and said we were glad to take the series. My instructions were simple. Just show the phone company lineman where I wanted the hookup to be made in the studio Several days later this was done. If in 1938 we had the internet I could have quickly learned enough about baseball and the World Series to get me through this wonderful new experience. Just thinking about this little story from my past I had forgotten who the teams were and where they played. So, fast forward to 2001 and enter Baseball, World Series, 1938 into the computer and the first item listed had every game from early 1900 to present. For you baseball fans, and I'm talking real fans, the series was between the Cubs and the Yankees. Games were played in Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium, and the final game was game four. It was 8-3 in game four and a sweep for the Yankees. Returning now to a nice fall day in 1938. I had placed a nice Scoreboard in front of the radio station that could be seen by cars passing by. I had the scoreboard ruled for innings and teams neatly printed. Large Letters CUBS and YANKEES. I had my desk ready with spot commercials for most of our local businesses and had only one switch to turn to let the network take over and broadcast the series on our station. I was ready to turn the switch at a moments notice and every so often I would listen to see what was on the network line. Once I was sure the game was starting so I turned the switch only to hear a worker at Wrigley Field telling people to get off his cables and in no uncertain profane terms. Off went my switch and back to music. The time finally came and all went well. This was the most professional broadcasting that had ever come out of our station. Well, the game ended and I posted the final score on our scoreboard in front of the building. The next day I was in front of the station cleaning up the scoreboard. I was in the process of printing CUBS and YANKEES on the board when a young boy, of perhaps 12 or 13, stopped to watch me. As I finished he said "hey mister, that aint right, they played yesterday." Well, as I said at the beginning of this piece I didn't know much about the World Series or baseball. I went into the studio, got the newspaper, checked the teams and sure enough the CUBS and YANKEES were playing today. I would appreciate it if you didn't repeat this..

 

 

 

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