FanPost

1942 World Series on the radio by way of YouTube.


I just finished listening to and scoring four of the five games of the 1942 World Series. The Cardinals beat the Yankees 4-1, winning four straight after losing the first game in St. Louis. The broadcasts are on Youtube. I could not find game four. The broadcasts must have been recorded by someone in Chicago. With a small exception these are the actual broadcasts, not recreations.

The broadcasters were Red Barber and Mel Allen. Barber at that time was still the Dodgers broadcaster. Mel Allen was the Yankees broadcaster. Compared to modern announcers they gave very few statistics, though it was obvious they had plenty more in their notes. All of them assumed the Yankees were better and would win.

The sponsor was Gillette. The advertisements were mostly asking people to realize blades were in short supply due to the war, and giving tips on how to get more life out of a blade. (Switch sides often and use Gillette lather.) This felt contemporary during the Covid 19 pandemic

The 1942 Cardinals were a team that emphasized speed, defense, and small ball, which I like. The ball in play is what makes baseball entertaining. The announcers frequently referred to the Cardinals’ speed, especially with Terry Moore and Enos Slaughter, calling them "a bunch of jackrabbits."

Both broadcasters worked alone, splitting the games by innings. Bill Corum, a writer from St. Louis but based in New York, set up the game beforehand and summed it up afterwards. Sound quality is medium for most games and poor in game five. It sounds like they had Jack Buck recreate a half inning where the sound must have been missing or very bad.

There was an appearance by Lieutenant Hank Greenberg asking mechanics and radio operators to join up. He had been drafted in the spring of 1941.

It was a dramatic series. The Yankees came close to a no hitter in the first game, but the Cardinals fought back in that game, and the announcers praised them for not giving up.

In game two a young Stan Musial had game winning rbi in the eighth, scoring Slaughter.

Johnny (Jimmy) Beasley, rookie, pitched an outstanding game in game two. There were not many strikeouts, but the Yankees did not hit the ball hard much. Beaszley also closed out the series, again limiting the Yankees to two runs in the fifth game. According to his biography, he entered the service after the season, the Army abused his arm, and he never recovered.

There were lots of sacrifice bunts. The Cardinals laid down two in game five.

There were several dramatic moments in the final game. The first was Slaughter’s home run in the fourth inning, which tied the game when the momentum was with the Yankees. Another was in the top of the ninth.

Beazley gave up a lead off hit to Joe Gordon. Dickey grounded to second, but Jimmy Brown booted it and there were runners at first and second with no outs in a two run game. Then Walker Cooper, the catcher, picked Joe Gordon off of second, and that seemed to let the air out of the Yankees. Ten balls out of the infield for the Yankees, and considering Beazley only struck out two, that tells us he was mostly in command.

Phil Rizzuto was obviously one of the best players on the field. I had never known much about him.

Of course, I knew the outcome, but I avoided reading the details, so it was fun scoring the games. My father was in the Army in 1942 and I imagined them taking a break from training to listen. My grandfather was also a Cardinals fan, and it was fun to think I might be hearing what he did. He died before I was born.

I suspect most modern fans would have trouble sitting through the broadcasts, but scoring them kept me in the game and made the games seem real. Next I plan to move on to 2011.