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OTR baseball games

Discussion in 'Radio' started by 1930artdeco, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco A-List Customer


    I would like to either buy or download some older baseball games and them make up a CD to listen to with games and maybe commercials if i can find some. Anyone have any ideas how to go about this and where to get the games?

  2. Only just noticed this post -- sorry for the delay!

    The two best sources for legitimately licensed baseball broadcast recodings are Danrick Enterprises in New Jersey -- he sells on ebay as Palmer999 -- and Baseball Direct in Virginia at http://www.baseballdirect.com.

    I've been buying from Danrick for over twenty years. He has thousands of broadcasts dating back to the mid-thirties, with most at $10.95 per game, but he only sells on cassette. He is very quick and very reliable with shipping, and is a very nice guy to deal with. He was the first dealer to specialize in baseball broadcasts, and for a long time was the only dealer with a license from MLB to sell them.

    Baseball Direct is an outlet for The Miley Collection, another major collector who sells games on CD only. He and Danrick got most of their early recordings from the same source -- a guy named Pat Rispole from Schenectady, New York, who recorded thousands of games off the air as a hobby between 1957 and 1979. They teamed up together to buy Rispole's collection when he died, and have been mining it ever since. Miley also somehow got access to the recordings held by the Commissioner's office, which included all World Series and All Star Game broadcasts between 1934 and 1944, and is in the process of releasing these.

    Very few broadcasts from the Era were saved. Regular season games were not saved by the local stations that aired them, so most of what exists are World Series and All Star broadcasts up until Rispole started doing his recordings in 1957. There are a few regular season games before then, but not many, and nothing at all exists before 1934.
  3. skyvue

    skyvue Call Me a Cab

    Lizzie, do you know of any sources for old television broadcasts (baseball or football)?
  4. The only source for licensed sale is Rare Sportsfilms, run by a guy named Doak Ewing. He sells baseball, football, basketball, and auto racing kinescopes on DVD. Most of his material comes from Armed Forces Radio & Television Service films, and much is incomplete -- but there is even less television extant than baseball. As incredible as it may seem, American television networks didn't begin to systematically preserve recordings of sports broadcasts until the 1970s.

    There is far less surviving television than radio. No complete regular season televised baseball games exist before 1967 -- and there is only one known complete game from that season. There are less than ten known complete regular season games before 1976. The survival of World Series and All Star games is fragmentary before the 70s -- the only World Series that survive with all games complete prior to 1970 are 1965, 1968, and 1969, and no complete All Star games exist before 1968.

    The earliest known surviving baseball telecasts are the last two games of the 1952 World Series. These have never been legally released in complete form, although edited versions were released on VHS in the 90s.
  5. Thank you, Lizzie. I just glanced through his catalog and found a 1955 AL/NL All Star game broadcast from Milwaukee County Stadium. I think it will make a splendid back ground to a summer fish fry next year.

  6. There's nothing like it -- real baseball broadcast by real broadcasters, not the catchphrase-spouting echo-chamber bozos you get today.

    I run a game over my midget AM station six days a week at 1:30pm, all the year round. It really helps to take the edge off winter.
  7. This may be common knowledge around here, and if so, pardon my asking, but do you run any sort of internet radio programming?
  8. I've been an occasional guest on various OTR podcasts, but I don't do anything of my own. Just a couple of micropower AM transmitters that cover my neighborhood, mostly so I have something to listen to while working around the house.
  9. Thanks. I'd listen, if you did, especially if it involved baseball.
  10. Lizzie, do you recall if the Baseball Direct recordings include the original advertising? I'm sure Mr. Rispole must have recorded them, but I'm wondering if they have been edited out.

  11. Some of them do, some of them don't -- any game over 2 hours and 38 minutes long has usually had at least some of them edited so as to fit the game on 2 CDs. Rispole's original recordings usually did contain the commercials -- he often recorded them on a timer while he went to work -- but sometimes he'd come back and razor-splice the commercials out of certain games. There doesn't seem to be any predictable pattern to this, but of the 300-odd games I've accumulated over the years I'd say about two thirds of them have commercials.

    A lot of Rispole's stuff from the seventies came from a contact in the Army, stationed at Fort Clayton in the Panama Canal Zone. This guy would record games off AFRS and send them to Rispole in trade for other items from his collection -- these would have the commercials covered over by an AFRS staff announcer reading sports updates, and these are usually included in the recordings.

    Aside from a lot of games from the 70s obtained thru trades, most of what Rispole had was recordings from New York teams -- he recorded the Brooklyn Dodgers Network during their last season, switched to the Yankees the following year, and then in 1962 began recording huge numbers of Mets broadcasts. He also got a few Montreal Expos games that could be heard in his market in 1969. He had a contact in Phoenix by the late sixties who sent him a lot of LA Dodgers and Angels broadcasts that were carried in that city. Much to my frustration he only has a small handful of Red Sox Network broadcasts.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  12. Thanks Lizzie. I ordered the All Star game I referenced in my earlier post. Advertisements or not, it'll be great fun to play at a fish fry on a hot summer evening. I'll not tell my guests who wins…they’ll just have to listen. And I won’t tell them the date of the game to keep them from googling it up on their smart phones. :eek:

    I also found the eBay store you mentioned and saved it to my favorites. He carries at least one Milwaukee Braves game. Now if I can just figure out how to transfer the cassette recording to my IPod.

  13. It would be interesting to know who Rispole traded with and whether his contacts kept copies of any of the games they sent him.

    I agree it is unfortunate there are not many games off the Boston network or most of the rest of the American League for that matter. There are very few AL games available in the 1960s after the Mets were born in '62.

    Danrick and Miley are great sources for games but there are games out there neither of them list. (Actually, I don't think Danrick got all his games back from MLB after they temporarily took over his business. I know there are games from the 1970s that Danrick does not list as available that I have seen listed by other baseball radio collectors. I wonder if they originally bought them from Danrick. ) I've offered to pick them up and send them to him but he usually (but not always) passes on games after 1970 as he is primarily interested in pre-1970 recordings. He also stated he is not allowed to carry any Brewers network games.

    As to other Red Sox games I wouldn't be so sure there aren't more out there. Miley and Danrick only sell complete games and I wouldn't be surprised if there were partial recordings preserved that are not listed for sale. I have noticed that some announcers preserved some of their recordings. Ernie Harwell donated a bunch to a library but unfortunately they are on cassette and reel to reel. The Library of Congress has acquired Bob Wolff's extensive collection of recordings and I have been told by someone at the LOC there are some games in there. I've been told by a source that Gene Elston has saved a large number of games as well. A former Ranger announcer has mentioned he has some recordings preserved. I would not be surprised if there are other announcers who have saved some of their broadcasts.

    Same thing with producers or fans. I have heard one of the Milwaukee stations recorded almost an hour of a famous Braves game from 1959. I know someone who has a Seattle Pilots recording they picked up from a former employee. On youtube, someone recently uploaded the last two innings of Sal Maglie's no-hitter and someone else posted the last inning of Catfish Hunter's prefect game. Who knows what else might turn up. Speaking of Red Sox network broadcasts I know Dave Morehead mentioned during the 100 anniversary of Fenway that he has the last inning of his no-hitter when he was with the Red Sox.

    This is not baseball but I've run across someone who has recorded all the Packer radio broadcasts since 1971. You might think there might be some fan out there besides Rispole and Danrick who recorded a lot of games. Just need to beat the bushes to find them somehow.

    Finally, I noticed on a website RadioGoldIndex by J David Golden that lists some excerpts from the 1951 World Series in his collection that neither Miley or Danrick have listed. I wouldn't mind finding a way to pick those up.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  14. By the way the LOC has stated recordings before 1972 are not subject to copyright.

    From their webpage...


    "the Library of Congress now will be able to ensure the archival preservation of a collection that substantially documents the historical record of the nation’s sports broadcast history prior to 1972, when sound recordings were not protected by federal copyright law."
  15. Unfortunately, that only means that pre-1972 recordings aren't subject to *federal* copyright law. There is a vast network of state regulations dating back to the turn of the 20th century regulating sound recordings, as well as common-law copyright in unpublished material, which broadcast recordings are considered to be. Essentially no recordings -- with the exception of utterances of the President and materials specifically deeded to the American people, such as the recordings of the Thomas A. Edison Company -- are truly public domain in the United States.

    Which means, that the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball is still entitled to claim copyright protection on all surviving broadcast recordings of baseball -- even if they were made by a private individual. Which is why private collectors are so wary about letting on what they have.
  16. I don't think Miley is licensed to sell games by MLB; at least that is what Charlie Danrick tells me. I think Miley is allowed to continue because his new releases eventually end up in Danrick's hands through trades. I do not believe Doak Ewing has been licensed by MLB as well even though he may claim to be.

    Since major league baseball licenses Danrick collectors should have no concerns about MLB seizing their games. If you are only talking about games not sold by Danrick, then the best course of action to take both legally and morally would be to trade what you have to Danrick. Having traded with him for several years he is happy to receive new material and would either send you back a licensed copy of what you sent him on cassette or another game of your choosing. That would also be best for the public as well as more games are available to be heard. No reason that rare gems sit in the hands of one or two individuals and the rest of the public never has a chance to enjoy. That is one of the reasons why it is disappointing that Danrick often turns down traded for games from the 1970s as those games then are never available to the public and may end up not being preserved.

    By the way, the news stories about Rispole and Miley never do mention Charlie Danrick. I think the do mention Phil Gries so John Miley must be leaving Danrick out of the equation when the story of the Miley collection is told. Do you know how John and Charley split the Rispole collection? I think MLB must have given Miley the 1945 series as well because he has now released all 7 games of that series. Only 1940, 1946, 1947 and 1951 are left without any games available. John has told me he doesn't have anything from 1946-47. I wonder why the most of the World Series from 1934-1945 were preserved but quite a few from 1946-1953 were not.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  17. I know that Miley used to be licensed for cassette sales -- I got a bunch of stuff from him back around the mid-90s with the MLB licensed product logo on the label. I haven't noticed if it's on the CD stuff I've gotten from Baseball Direct.

    I've often wondered about Ewing's status. I suspect that if he isn't MLB looks the other way because he seems to be sitting on a very big pile of kinescopes and they want access to them for their own vaults.

    As far as why stuff doesn't seem to exist between 1946 and the mid-fifties, it's because Judge Landis died. The reason the 1933-45 recordings exist is because Landis had a love-hate relationship with radio, and especially with the network sports announcers. He hired a Chicago recording studio to make airchecks of World Series and All Star Game broadcasts so he could have a permanent record of what the announcers were saying over the air -- and he would use these recordings to enforce his edicts over who could and couldn't be assigned to broadcast. He used the recordings of the 1934 World Series to enforce a lifetime ban from network baseball broadcasting against Ted Husing, whom he believed inappropriately questioned the decision of the umpire in the Medwick-Owen incident, and knowing that the Commissioner was paying close attention ensured that all of the broadcasters broadcast the way he wanted them to broadcast.

    The stretch of July-August 1936 local Chicago broadcasts exists for the same reason. Hal Totten of WCFL was accused of prejudicing the local fans against the umpiring staff assigned to Comiskey Park, thus leading to a bottle-throwing riot. Landis had Totten's next five or six broadcasts recorded and examined to preserve a record of Totten's reaction to this charge -- which can be found in the 7/29/36 broadcast of the White Sox against the A's -- and to ensure that he didn't further arouse the fans.

    Landis died after the 1944 season, and the Commissioner's Office moved from Chicago to New York the following year. The new commissioner, Happy Chandler, discontinued the recordings at that time -- he didn't believe they were necessary and it was a chance to save some money out of his office budget.

    Recordings *were* made at WOR in 1947 for the Gillette Company, but other than a few familiar excerpts they haven't made it out of the vaults. The 1948 All Star and World Series recordings are also from WOR.
  18. Very interesting. Thank you. In what vaults are the 1947 World Series held? I actually contacted Gillette a few years back and they indicated they did not have any recordings from their days as a sponsor. If they had, they are long gone I would guess.

    Miley has told me he does have the 1941-1944 World Series in their entirety. (I did not inquire as to 1940.) I've heard some partial recordings of the 1953 World Series a friend of mine has that were taped in Philadelphia but do not know if the entire games were recorded. (mostly they were the Gene Kelly innings)
    Miley has also mentioned he has quite a few White Sox-Yankee games recorded by a gentleman named Don Costello who lived in southern Wisconsin and recorded them off the White Sox network. That is all I know about other pre-1960 material not currently available.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  19. I forgot to mention the games that Ernie Harwell donated to one of the Michigan libraries. One of them is Hoyt Wilhelm's no-hitter from 1958 along with some 1950s Colts games, a Tiger game and a Braves-Giants game from 1953.
  20. The Baseball Hall of Fame has the original discs of most of the stuff from the Commissioner's Office, which I suspect is the original source of what Miley has -- god knows how he got access to it, but there was a lot of surrepititous trading going on in the '70s and '80s. There were multiple recordings made of each event -- up until 1939, broadcast rights were not exclusive, and each network had its own broadcast of the World Series and All Star Game. I suspect Miley is a big Bob Elson fan, since he seems to favor releasing the Mutual network versions for most of these games, but the CBS and NBC recordings also exist. There are even Spanish-language broadcasts extant for 1941.

    The HOF also has a random regular-season Boston Braves broadcast from 1951, but I don't know if that's a local broadcast or something from the Mutual Game of the Day. Probably the latter. AFRS recorded a lot of Game of the Day material for distribution to the troops, but it was supposed to be destroyed after use, and none has surfaced.

    Some of those White Sox/Yankees games have been released, the most interesting being the Larry Doby Brawl game of 1957 -- Art Ditmar brushed Doby back early in the game, Doby took umbrage, Ditmar flung out a certain common racial slur, and Doby ran out to the mound and punched him in the mouth. It took half an hour to clear the field after that, and it made for a pretty entertaining broadcast.

    As to what happened to Gillette's recordings, that's anybody's guess. The Library of Congress got the archives of WOR, but they aren't fully catalogued yet and nobody's quite sure what's there. Dave Goldin had a lot of random discs he'd scrounged from there and there, and those all went to the Marr Sound Archive in Kansas City.

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