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Bruce Harris

Sports Talk Radio (1927)

The 1927 New York Yankees are considered by many to be the greatest team of all time. They finished the 1927 season with 110 wins against 44 losses. Babe Ruth hit a record 60 homeruns and Lou Gehrig was in the early stages of his famous 2,130 consecutive games played streak. Pitcher Waite Hoyt went 22-7, Herb Pennock 19-8, Urban Shocker 18-6, and Wilcy Moore 19-7. The Yankees defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1927 World Series, sweeping them in 4 games. If sports talk radio were around back then, you might have heard something like this in early April…

“This is Big Billy Burton, the biggest name in sports bringing you the biggest in sports talk radio in the biggest city in the world. Al from The Bronx, you’re on the air.”


“You’re on, Al.”

“Hello? Am I on?”

“Turn down your radio, Al.”

“Oh, okay. Hold on.” Al covers the phone with his hand and screams to his family, “Turn down the radio! “

“Hello? Is this better?”

“What’s on your mind, Al?”

“Hey. First time caller, long time listener.”

“What’s on your mind?”

“I want to talk about the Yankees.”


“I was at the game yesterday. Man, there were like 60,000 people there. Can you believe it? Let me tell you something. It cost fifty cents a seat. Are these guys crazy? I mean, to take a family of four to a ballgame is two bucks just to walk through the gates and into the stadium. And, these were bleacher seats. Only the corporations can afford the better seats these days. Hello?”

“I’m here, Al.”

“It’s highway robbery. Anyway, did you see the game?”

“I heard it on the radio.”

“Good. This guy Ruth. What’s going on?”

“What do you mean?”

“He was 0 for 3 today, with 2 strike outs. He can’t hit.”

“Al, it’s the first game of the season.”

“I know. I know. But, look back to the last day of last season against the St. Louis Browns. You know, the game they lost 6 -1. Ruth was up only once, and what did he do?

“I’m sure you are going to tell us.”

"Yup. He struck out. He was up once, and struck out. The Yankees signed him to the biggest contract in baseball. He gets $70,000 a year for not only this season, but for 3 years! Can you believe the nerve of this guy taking this kind of money? That’s why it cost a fortune to sit in the bleachers. He is overpaid, overrated, and he is slow and he strikes out all the time."

“Al, Babe led the league with 47 homeruns last year. The next closest person to him hit 19.”

“Yeah, so? Check the year before that. He hit only 25.”

“What are you saying?”

“I’m saying that there’s talk about Babe and, well you know, he’s a lot bigger looking this year than last year. Everyone is talking about his weight. I mean, he went from 25 to 47 homeruns in a single year. I’m not saying he’s doing anything illegal or anything, but he is huge. He’s all bulked up.”

“Slow down, Al. Remember, you’re talking to Big Billy Burton, the biggest name in sports talk radio in the biggest city in the world. What’s all this about being bulked up? What are you insinuating, Al?”

“Nothing. But, there is talk about hot dogs. I think maybe Ruth’s been ingesting a lot of hot dogs.”

“You’re jumping to conclusions. There’s no proof of that.”

“No? Anyway, I want to talk about his spot in the batting order. Miller Huggins has him batting third. If I were manager, I would have Gehrig hit third and drop Ruth to the four spot.”

“Why, Al?”

“Because Gehrig doesn’t strike out as much as Ruth. I tell you, I’m worried about this team this year.”

“Al, they won their first game of the season. The experts think they will have a very good year.”

“So what? They are short on pitching. I don’t trust any of the starters. Who do we have? Hoyt? He was 16-12 last year. He’s our ace? Who is after that? Pennock, then we have Shocker, then Moore? I’m telling you we’re thin on pitching. I don’t have a good feeling about this team."

“I think it’s a bit early to be worried, but thanks for the call, Al. Ted from Brooklyn, you’re up next on the biggest sports talk radio in the biggest city in the world. Go.”

“Yeah, this is Ted from Brooklyn. I have serious concerns about Gehrig...hello?”

©2011 by Bruce Harris

Bruce Harris is the author of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: About Type, published by The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box. His fiction has appeared in Slow Trains, The First Line, Inch, Pine Tree Mysteries, and Short, Fast, and Deadly. He is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and a long suffering Chicago Cubs fan.

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