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Berkeley Protest March; Mickey Mantle -- Sportscaster

May 31, 2009 |  8:00 am
May 31, 1969_0531_special_announcement

"We Are Interrupting This Program for a Special Announcement!"

May 31, 1969, Buddha

May 31, 1969, Cover
Above, police and National Guard troops keep watch on a march on People's Park in Berkeley. View this page

May 31, 1969, Berkeley
Times reporter Charles T. Powers files a sidebar on fears that the march would turn violent. Instead, there was a "happy coalition of flower children, radicals and liberals," he says.
View this page


May 31, 1969, Akron

What's hot at Akron: Rattan!

May 31, 1969, War Dead

Above, an article on Memorial Day by Linda Mathews.
May 31, 1969, Blind Date

A blind date for Tricia Nixon. 

May 31, 1969, Roller Games

Los Angeles T-Birds vs. the New York Bombers in roller derby at the Olympic!

May 31, 1969, Ex Slave

May 31, 1969, Integration

May 31, 1969, Letters

Readers' letters on the protests in Berkeley...

May 31, 1969, Man Shoots 14

May 31, 1969, Bikini Relay

... and the San Diego to Santa Monica bikini race. 
May 31, 1969, I Am Curious (Yellow)

May 31, 1969, Marijuana

The 1960s: Hitchhiking and marijuana.

May 31, 1969, Mickey Mantle The cast of characters who put on blazers, hold microphones and call themselves broadcasters seems to grow every year because players keep retiring.

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.

--Keith Thursby