Yankees And Tigers On The Radio…In 1934

This is something else. A complete radio broadcast of the September 20th, 1934 game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers.

This is the oldest full radio broadcast of a regular season baseball game known to exist (the 1934 All-Star Game is the only surviving full game broadcast that is older than this). Thursday, September 20, 1934, Yankees vs Tigers at Navin Field (Briggs/Tiger Stadium) in Detroit, Ty Tyson is the broadcaster, and also the PA announcer! Great old time radio. Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Frank Crosetti in the lineup for the Bombers, and Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer, Mickey Cochrane for the Bengals. Babe Ruth was in the ballpark, but unfortunately did not play due to injury (so the 1934 All-Star Game is the only surviving full game audio of Ruth, as he retired in early 1935). This was during the Tigers’ ’30’s heyday, on their way to the AL pennant.

Tyson includes many colorful ad spots along the way, a teletype machine can be heard through much of the broadcast, and Tyson even doubles as the PA announcer, but only for pitching changes and pinch hitters, which was likely the norm in those days (quick trivia: Tyson was also the PA announcer on May 2, 1939, informing the crowd when Lou Gehrig strode out to home plate at Briggs Stadium to present the lineup card without him in it). Just hearing the game as it slowly unfolded over 80 years ago is a treasure. Enjoy.

There are obviously a lot of amazing things about this, but one of the biggest ones for me is just how much faster the game moves. Maybe it’s more striking than usual because we’re smack in the middle of playoff season and so many of those games are so goddamn insufferably and unnecessarily long, but man oh man did they ever not mess around in 1934. Something happens, then the next thing happens. It’s astounding. And I say this about a game during which the announcer talks about how long things are taking! Everyone involved in MLB’s pace of play business ought to go back and listen to this if they’re truly serious about figuring out the problem.

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