"Holy Toledo!"

August 20, 2015

You Won’t Believe You Ears, Look What’s New In Vintage Sports Radio!

Q: When is the best time to listen to a great old radio broadcast of one of your favorite games?
A: When you’re cruisin’ in your car of course!

Close you eyes and imagine if you will.
You get in your car on a nice afternoon, roll down the windows, pop in a cd, put the car in gear and go. Exactly where you are going is not important, in fact it shouldn’t be planned. “Let’s go where the road takes us” is what you say to your friend in the passenger seat (hopefully a pretty girl).

As the temperature in your engine begins to warm, out of the speakers comes a familiar voice. Maybe it’s Curt Gowdy or Jim Simpson. You see, the cd you popped in was actually one of those vintage sports cd’s you picked up from Holy Toledo! As you and your friend tour the back roads, you are also hearing Bill King paint a verbal picture in your mind of another great Raiders-Steelers battle. Perhaps you prefer to listen Al DeRogatis describe the action as Joe Willie Namath takes his Jets to the Super Bowl. Personally I enjoy the subtle rhythms of a baseball game while driving.

Somewhere around halftime, or the 5th inning, you start to smell the ocean in the air. The wind that is blowing into the car windows has begun to cool and you realize you are almost to the beach. A twinge of hunger echoes in your belly and you know the time has come to find a place to get lunch. Your friend spots a small deli near the wharf. Just as Monte Stickles is reminding you to come back to hear the halftime stats, you pull your car into the gravel parking lot and shut off the engine.

Seagulls fly overhead, the pungent odor of crab is in the air, and out the front door of the deli walks a family, laughing with hands full of food. As you walk in you see that it’s a tiny little place jam packed with food and souvenirs. After the little old lady in an apron hands you your bag of food, your friend discovers a table out back on the wharf. It’s there that you enjoy your lunch and watch as several men unload salmon from a large fishing boat. A short time later, feeling full, content, and warm from the sun on your back, your friend hands you a piece of salt water taffy and says, “I think halftime is about over, time to hit the road.”

Now traveling along the coast on those curvy roads that allow you to see the ocean around every other bend, Bill King describes another damn Steelers touchdown. The scenery is beautiful, a gorgeous day for a car rise. By the end of the 3rd quarter you turn your car inland, in the direction that lead you back home. Things aren’t looking good for the hometown team. Then an interesting thing happens, as the air begins to warm, getting further from the coast, so to does the Raiders offense. Stabler to Siani for six. As you and your friend pass thru the rolling hills Roy Gerela kicks a field goal, and with 4 minutes left, it’s the Steelers by 10.

“We need to stop, I have to pee. Plus I want to change the momentum of the game,” your friend says. “I know this little old Italian place just up the road, they make the best homemade ravioli, and they have a bathroom We can pick up some dinner for later,” she adds. And so you do.

Now back in the car, loaded with fresh ravioli, two jars of “Nono’s Special Sauce”, garlic bread, and a bottle of chianti, you set your path towards home. You turn the game back on. Knowing the Raiders need to score, and quickly. Stabler to Branch on the sidelines, Stabler to Biletnikoff over the middle, then Kenny hits Casper down the middle for a touchdown. Two and a half minutes to go, down by 3, and Bill King reminds you to “hang on to your hats!”

Getting close to home now, your car probably could drive the rest of the way without your assistance. Bradshaw hands off to Bleier, Raiders call time. Bradshaw hands off to Franco, now it’s the 2 minute warning and 3rd down.

Bill King then describes the next play, “Split backs behind Bradshaw. The crowd chants ‘defense’, Hendricks shows blitz. Bradshaw back to pass, rolls right to avoid the rush, he throws… INTERCEPTED by Willie Hall! Holy Toledo the Raiders have one last shot!”

As you pull into the driveway the Raiders offense takes the field. You turn off the engine but keep the cd playing. Your friend, demonstrating exactly why you like her so much, doesn’t get out of the car. She too wants to hear the end of the game.

With just seconds to go Casper makes a finger tip catch to score the winning touchdown, just as you knew he would. You’ve listened to this game so many times you practically have Bill King’s call memorized. You see it’s not about the finish, it’s about the journey. Today you took your friend on an afternoon cruise, enjoyed the countryside, the ocean, and a nice lunch. All the while you heard another old friend describe one of your favorite plays. Just as people enjoy viewing an old movie they love over and over, why not do the same with one of your favorite games?

Well I do, and I recommend playing one while you take a pretty friend for a car ride.
As promised I have exciting news for all of us who circulate & percolate in the world of vintage sports recordings. Now before you get too excited, please have a paper bag handy to overcome any thoughts of hyperventilating. OK did you get that done? All righty then…. Here is the big news….

Some of you might recall the game referred to as “The Immaculate Reception”, and as we all know there is no copy of the actual NBC broadcast from that fateful day. What has been found however is a nice quality recording of the national radio broadcast featuring announcers Van Patrick & Bob Reynolds. When I listened to the game that part that got my attention was the long delay between the time Franco Harris crossed the goal line, and the time the officials finally signaled touchdown. One wonders if they truly were checking on the number of security guards. No mater, this recording is a nice discovery and a great piece of sports history.

Some of you Bay Area fans might recall that after the Oakland Raiders & Golden St. Warriors championship seasons in the mid 1970’s each team put out a high quality studio produced audio season highlight recording on an LP (for you youngster you might need to look up the word “album”). A good friend of mine actually owned one of these but we had no way to copy it to a cd. Well through the assistance of my friend Stuart we now have both recordings, and the quality is excellent. The great Bill King is featured prominently in both, and the memories are priceless. The Raiders album was called “Crowning Glory”, and the Warriors was titled “The Year of Excitement”.

I have a total of 5 new Bill King recordings, 2 Warriors games from the 1977-78 season, an A’s game from their championship season of 1989, and the 2 LP’s.

In addition there are two new national radio broadcasts from some exciting NFL playoff games from the 1970’s.

Perhaps the most surprising find as of late was the discovery of some extremely rare and historic baseball games that go back over 80 years! You are going to be amazed, here are just a few, see the entire list below:
– The oldest known recording of a regular season baseball game
– 1934 All-Star Game
– The Shot Heard Round the World
– Mantle & Maris in their record breaking 1961 season
– The New York Mets first game ever
– The incredible Giants-Dodgers pennant deciding playoff game
– The 1970 All-Star game with the Rose-Fosse Collision

It is a labor of love, but we do work hard at this rewarding hobby.

Sincerely,
Bill
from Holy Toledo!
*** WHAT’S NEW *****

** BILL KING RADIO & SPECIAL ITEMS *****

1976 Oakland Raiders Audio Highlights
Featuring Bill Kingt & his great radio calls
from the LP “Crowning Glory”
1 cd

1974-1975 Golden State Warriors Audio Highlights
Featuring Bill King & his great radio calls
from the LP “The Yeaar of Excitement”
1 cd

11-11-1977 Kansas City Kings at Golden State
Otis Birdsong & Scott Wedman vs. Barry, Parrish, & Phil Smith
Bill King announcer
Good game, commercials, 3 disks

1-18-1978 Washington at Golden State
Elvin Hayes & Wes Unseld battle Rick Barry & Phil Smith
Bill King announcer
Commercials, 3 disks

9-20-1989 Game #151 Radio Broadcast
Oakland A’s at Cleveland Indians
Rickey Henderson leads off game with a HR, 40th time in his career
Bill King, Lon Simmons, & Ray Fosse announcers
Exciting game, 3 disks
**** Radio Broadcasts *****

** NFL ***

“The Immaculate Reception Game”
1972 AFC Divisional Oakland at Pittsburgh
The late Van Patrick & Bob Reynolds are announcers on the Mutual Network
Legendary game, includes brief pregame & postgame, 3 disks

1973 AFC Divisional
Pittsburgh at Oakland
Al Wester & Monty Stickles on the Mutual Network
4 disks

1975 AFC Divisional
Cincinnati at Oakland
Big Bengals comeback puts scare in the Raiders
Ken Stabler & Ted Hendricks start for the Raiders
Lindsey Neson & Lon Simmons announcers
3 disks
** Baseball ***

1934 All-Star Game
July 10th, 1934 at the Polo Grounds in New York
Only the 2nd All-Star game ever
Carl Hubbell set the record by striking out 5 in a row!
(Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, Simmons, & Cronin – all Hall of Fame players)
A.L. Starting Lineup includes: Charlie Gehringer, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, & Lefty Gomez
N.L. Starting Lineups include: Frankie Frish, Pie Traynor, Joe Medwick, Kiki Cuyler, Bill Terry, Gabby Hartnett, & Carl Hubbell
Tom Manning, Ford Bond, & Graham McNamee announcers on NBC
Pregame, 3 disks

9- 20-1934 New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
The oldest known regular season broadcast in existence!
Gehrig & co. take on Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer & the 1st place Tigers
at Navin Field in Detroit
Ty Tyson announcer on WWJ
Action packed game, 2 disks

10-3-1951 Brooklyn Dodgers at New York Giants
“The Shot Heard Round The World”, game #3 of the National League Playoff
Yes this is an original radio broadcast of one of the greatest games ever played!
Many legendary players Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese, Eddie Stankey, Alvin Dark, Whitey Lockman, & Bobby Thompson
Gordon McLendon announcer on the Liberty Network
at the Polo Grounds, New York
2 disks

9-8-1957 Brooklyn Dodgers at New York Giants
The final meeting ever between these two legendary teams
Don Drysdale, with Reese, Snider & Hodges battle Mays, Lockman & Hank Sauer
A young Vin Scully & Jerry Doggett announcers on WMGM
2 disks

9-3-1961 Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees
Dramatic ending to a fantastic game from a historic season
Mickey Mantle hits two home runs #49 & #50
Mantle, Maris & Berra battle Jim Bunning, Cash, Colavito & Kaline
Phil Rizzuto, Mel Allen & Bob Delaney announcers on WOKO
Pregame, some commercials, 3 disks

4-11-1962 New York Mets at St. Louis Cardinals
The Mets very first regular season game
At Busch Stadium
Stan Musial & Curt Flood lead the Cards vs. Mets pitcher Roger Craig
Ralph Kiner, Bob Murphy & Lindsey Nelson announcers on WGY
Commercials, 3 disks

6-1-1962 San Francisco Giants at New York Mets
The Giants return to NY for the first time since leaving
McCovey hits 2 HR’s & Mays and Davenport also go deep
Both teams combine for 6 HR’s
Ralph Kinder & Lindsey Nelson announcers on WGY
at the Polo Grounds, NY
Pregame, commercials, 3 disks

10-3-1962 San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
Game 3 of the National League Playoff to decide the Pennant
Juan Marichal vs. Johnny Podres
Mays, Cepeda, & a rookie named McCovey vs. Maury Wills, Frank Howard & Duke Snider
A dramatic 9th inning sends the Giants to the World Series
Al Helfer & George Kell announcers
Missing bottom of 9th, commercials, 3 disks

1970 All-Star Game
Pete Rose collides with Ray Fosse
MVP is Carl Yastrzemski
Jim Simpson & Sandy Koufax announcers
at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati
3 disks
**If you want to see my complete game list find it here on this site (link to your right, or email me for the most current list.

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