This is a Chargers site, but let’s pay homage to some other greats
By John Burress
Growing up in Chula Vista before the Major League Padres existed and the Chargers were not considered true professional football, although I would vehemently disagree with that statement, I listened to the Dodgers, Angels and Lakers broadcasts more than anyone else.
Hmmm, I guess I need to go back and explain a little before I go on. The late 50’s and 60’s were quite different. Every phone had a cord. If you picked up the phone to make a call there’s a pretty good chance you’d hear another person on the phone, it was called a “Party Line”, you’d have to wait for their conversation to finish before you could call. You couldn’t watch a game on the phone, take a pictures or use it as a flashlight. It was just a phone and not portable beyond the length of the cord. Games were rarely televised and only on weekends, even then it was only a few teams that got on the air.
What’s the point of this history lesson? 90 percent of the sports information we got was from radio. Dad would take his portable radio with him to play golf, he’d have it next to him as he watched T.V. and I think he’d sneak it into his office during day games. The worst part…we couldn’t always get reception. We’d only get the Dodger games after 9:00 P.M. on many nights (don’t know why) and since we were Giants fans, (another story) we only listened to scores of the Giants while we pulled for the Dodgers to lose. We had better reception for the Angels and Lakers.
Again, the point is this, all the info we got came from the radio so people like Vin Scully, Dick Enberg and Chick Hearn were as familiar as my mom and dad. A few days ago I was flipping through channels when I heard Enberg as he announced on a Padres broadcast and Scully doing a Dodgers game. It was like going back in time except that Enberg was doing the Padres instead of the Angels broadcast.
It reminded me of September 9th, 1965. Dodger games started late then…8:00 P.M. I was in bed by 9:00. Dad woke me up about 9:30 and said I needed to hear this. Sandy Koufax was pitching his perfect game and dad woke me for the final 3 outs. Koufax struck out the side. The final out?? Harvey Kuen, who’d been a batting champ in ’59 with the Tigers. Dad said “He’ll be a tough out”. Even though we hated the Dodgers, we pulled for Koufax that night. A perfect game, not something you heard every day.
Anyway, it’s amazing that 2 of these 3 announcers are still alive, much less still announcing. I’m 62 and having trouble remembering my name, that these guys are still telling the great stories and giving us such great insight is astounding. I guess I just wanted to pay homage to some great announcers from time-gone-by.
I’ll get back to the Bolts next time, we won’t be able to hear these voices live for very much longer as Scully and Enberg will soon be retiring and I missed my chance to say thanks to Chickie-baby. I didn’t want to miss my chance to pay homage to such great men who were such a great part of my youth.
Stay in SD, Bolts, it’s where you belong!!!