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Hodges as a guest on What's My Line? after Game 3 of the 1962 World Series on October 7.

Russell Patrick Hodges (June 18, 1910 – April 19, 1971) was an American broadcaster who did play-by-play for several baseball teams, most notably the New York and San Francisco Giants.

Contents

Early career

Born in Dayton, Tennessee, Hodges began his career in 1929. He was nomadic for the first two decades of his career. He worked for the Chicago Cubs, Washington Senators, and Cincinnati Reds before landing in New York City with the New York Yankees and New York Giants, who during much of the 1940s only broadcast home games and shared the same radio team — lead announcer Mel Allen and No. 2 man Hodges. In 1949, Hodges became a No. 1 announcer when the Giants and the Yankees separated their radio networks to each broadcast a full, 154-game schedule. He would be the voice of the Giants for the next 22 seasons on both coasts.

Famed 1951 Bobby Thompson home run call

On October 3, 1951, Hodges was at the microphone for Bobby Thomson's famous Shot Heard 'Round the World. It was Hodges who cried, "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"

This famous moment in sports broadcasting was nearly lost. This was in an era before all game broadcasts were recorded. However, in his autobiography, Hodges related how a Brooklyn fan, excited over what appeared to be a certain Dodger victory, hooked up his home tape recorder to his radio. The fan wanted to capture Hodges "crying." Instead, he recorded history; the next day, he called Hodges and said, "You have to have this tape."

Hartung down the line at third, not taking any chances. Lockman without too big of a lead at second, but he'll be running like the wind if Thomson hits one. Branca throws. There's a long drive. It's gonna be, I believe -- The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win! Bobby Thomson hits into the lower deck of the left-field stands! The Giants win the pennant! And they're going crazy! They're going crazy! Oh-ho!

In the film The Godfather, Sonny Corleone is listening to this broadcast on his car radio when he is murdered at a toll booth. It was also used in an episode of M*A*S*H.

Later career

Hodges was also the lead announcer for Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts on CBS from 1948-1955.[1] The most famous fight called by Hodges was Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston, one of the most anticipated, watched, and controversial fights in boxing history. Some other fights Hodges called include Beau Jack vs. Ike Williams, Joe Louis vs. Ezzard Charles, Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Jake LaMotta, Floyd Patterson vs. Hurricane Jackson, and Joe Louis vs. Cesar Brion.[2]

When the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958, Hodges followed the club west. He continued working for the team through 1970, when he retired. His signature home run call was, "Bye-Bye, Baby!", a phrase that was set to music as the Giants' theme song during the 1960s.

Death and subsequent honors

Hodges died suddenly of a heart attack in Mill Valley, California on April 19, 1971.

The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association inducted Hodges into its Hall of Fame in 1975. In 1980, became the fourth recipient of the Ford Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting from the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2000, the Giants named the broadcast booths in their new ballpark the Hodges-Simmons Broadcast Center in honor of Hodges and his former partner Lon Simmons.[3] In 2008, Hodges was elected into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame, joining his longtime broadcast partner Simmons, who was inducted in 2006.

References

  1. ^ Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts / Fight Of The Week
  2. ^ http://www.caytonsports.com/list.pdf
  3. ^ Giants Honor Hodges, Simmons

External links

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