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Baseball legend Dizzy Dean captivated three generations of fans with his impressive pitching abilities and later, his broadcasting skills.
He first caught the attention of the American public by winning 30 games in the 1934 season while leading the infamous St. Louis Cardinals “Gashouse Gang.” At that time, America sorely needed a diversion from the Great Depression. Dizzy’s portrait adorned the front cover of Time magazine on April 15, 1935. After a career cut short by injury, Dizzy migrated into the radio and television broadcasting booth. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953.
Listen to Bo Carter who tri-authored Dizzy: Dean of Baseball and My Podnah with journalist and former Dallas area media member Mark McDonald and the late Gene Kirby, the play-by-play voice for Army football for several seasons.
Once Dizzy migrated to the broadcast booth he teamed with the likes of Pee Wee Reese and producer Gene Kirby to deliver the wildly popular CBS Game of the Week. Known for his home spun stories and acerbic wit, Dizzy commented, "The Good Lord was good to me. He gave me a strong right arm, a good body, and a weak mind.” Dizzy delighted his listeners with impromptu vocal performances of mountain tunes. When queried on using improper English on the air, he responded, “Let the teachers teach English and I will teach baseball. There is a lot of people in the United States who say 'isn't' and they ain't eating."
When asked about his book, Bo Carter observes, “Of the many books written on Dizzy, none is told from such an intimate perspective, nor with the shared sense of playful mischief. Gene Kirby’s text and photo collection show why the pitcher was a baseball phenom, but more importantly, show why Dizzy remains an enduring legend.”
Bo Carter served as student media adviser and adjunct mass communications instructor at the University of North Texas, Texas Wesleyan University and Texas Woman’s University from 2009-15. He has also been a consultant and columnist with the National Football Foundation since Aug. 2006, after working with the Big 12 Conference for 10 years and the Texas Collegiate League in 2006.
Arrive early and listen to former Cleveland Indians organist Bob Whiteman play old fashion baseball music.
Sponsored by the Allen Public Library.