Berkeley Protest March; Mickey Mantle -- Sportscaster
"We Are Interrupting This Program for a Special Announcement!"
What's hot at Akron: Rattan!
The 1960s: Hitchhiking and marijuana.
I guess there are ex-athletes who eventually make good announcers--Don Drysdale in baseball and Troy Aikman in football come to mind--but I've never understood the reason for hiring former players to state the obvious when there are sportscasters able to describe the action, tell a story and do so in complete, clear sentences.
Mickey Mantle was one of those guys who stepped in front of a camera after he retired. He joined former Yankee teammate Tony Kubek and Curt Gowdy on NBC's "Game of the Week", which used to be appointment viewing for baseball fans every Saturday.
Other than a rare Dodger or Angel road game, this was the only baseball shown on television that week and usually a chance to see a ballpark I could only dream of attending. NBC also employed another former star turned broadcaster, Sandy Koufax.
Don Page talked to Mantle about his adjustment: "I think it might turn into something but right now it's a test for both of us [NBC and Mickey]. I'll tell you one thing though--it's easier than trying to hit a ball."
See what I mean?
NBC had Mantle and Kubek talking to players on the pregame show "in an easy, locker room style" and Page said Mantle was "surprisingly good at it."
Page really let broadcasters have it regularly in his columns but he let Mantle off easy. Page's story started with a memory of watching a young Mantle playing with the Yankees in an exhibition at Los Angeles' Wrigley Field. My guess is the critic was a fan no matter what Mantle was doing.