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One Year: Mary Shane's Rookie Season


Mary Shane made history with the Chicago White Sox, becoming the first woman hired as a legitimate major-league baseball announcer. But in 1977, she had to fight to be taken seriously in one of America’s most sexist industries.

One Year is produced by Josh Levin, Evan Chung, and Madeline Ducharme. Mixing by Merritt Jacob.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey, slow, burn listeners. Thanks for all your great feedback on our new show. One year we really initiate it. The slow burn team is hard at work on season. Six coming out, this fall In the meantime, we're gonna drive A few more episodes here that we think you'll enjoy it like our show the best, follow one year is in its own feed in your part, cast up you'll get. Oliver episodes as soon as they come out plus where's content, you can't get anywhere else. Just one year from slate on any podcast app. How would you describe the White sucks franchise? for people that aren't familiar with that like what's the experience like of being awaits, Oxfam won't be gone. It's like one, Now what can fall on our head today? That's Bob's, drunk he's retired public defender and he's been, thing for the Chicago waits OX baseball team for more than sixty years since nineteen
Fifty nine from the in view of a die hard fan the most import thing to understand about the whites acts that they are not cargo Cubs, no working class, People were the Saxons, whereas the cup vandalism, creature that was dropped into the Chicago area up, it's all happy in giddy, a dream, actually marketing losing love the losers late field, I have some sort of call like us. The whales bunch to me play on the north side of Chicago old, Timey, Wrigley Field with its hand, operated scoreboard and ivy covered outfield walls, the weights. Explain this outside their old Stadium Comiskey Park, demolished and eighteen ninety one which was maybe for the best Agri food, Calling mouldy mouth they had some silly rock answered there once were part of the upper deck was in flames. The place of fallen
art brochure, the franchises many low points came in they, seventy six, the weight, had the worst record and the American League in their battle. was all encompassing. They couldn't head. and their pitching was even worse. When this did make the National NEWS whisper there. native uniforms. We have a passion and sports first report tonight. What every well rest member of the Chicago White sought war today was short, dark blue shorts with a force white socks There was no good reason to expect that nineteen, seventy seven would go any better for the weights ox, but miraculously it did they were winning game. They are coming from behind the people by a ticket I've never seen a band Morgiana more jacked up than they were in nineteen. Thirty, seven At the end of July, the socks were in first place in their toughest opponent, we're coming the town for a big weekend series Bob's
was in the left field, bleachers city royals and are favored to win. The division in the place was jammed. Friday nights forget about it. We were buying beer by the case out there. I don't know how many runs. Kansas city scored in the first inning Kansas City at a big lead in the White Sox, overcame it and won the game, I came back to win on Saturday two on the stay the series on Sunday July, thirty, first more than fifty thousand fans, packed into committee, part for a double hidden, batter dated. I support what their batter that they'll be providing between body. Then I would be happier going after a white satisfactorily in game. One of that double him. This for on the verge of defeat down, I too runs in the bottom of the tenth
everybody, but to strike pitch their eyes were, was magical was electric. He was just a feeling that you never really experienced before and the rally wasn't area. that was Lauren Brown on the radio call but you may have noticed another voice. In the background, a few can later that broadcaster got her
yeah, the voice. You just heard belong to the first woman to get a real job as a major league, an answer her now was Mary. She for family Nineteen. Seventy seven was a thrilling time, the equal Rights amendment was close to getting ratified the national women's conference hosted rollicking debates on civil rights, gay rights and abortion and individual women we're getting all kinds of new opportunities. Nasa recruited, its first class of women astronauts, the episcopal, church in the United States ordained its the official woman priest and on this outside of Chicago Kaminski park. a woman became a sports casting pioneer
Mary shame was an underdog in Harare To prominence shocked the baseball world, in nineteen seventy seven. She was too in a car, about space for herself and for all women. in one of America's most sexist industries in this country. Any kind of changes for I had the firm belief that they sat women after fail you're in the big leagues. Now you got to stand on their own, I'm Josh living, and this is one year. Nineteen, seventy sup
Mary chains, rookie season with male champ, you get more than a url. You get an all in one marketing platform to help drive sales with things like data, driven recommendations and powerful automation, tools, get started today and male Chimp dotcom, Slash Smart Mark male champ built for growing businesses. At nine years. Old Mary Shane knew what she wanted to do when she grew up my dream play second base. Yes, when I was a kid I was convinced by the time I grew up, they would have playing second base. There was rather large obstacle blocking her path to the majors. She didn't. I, they play baseball,
the girl in Milwaukee, in the eighteen fifties she was were given the opportunity, but that stop Mary from falling in love with the sport in nature. Fifty seven her dad got them too the game, five of the World Series, the Milwaukee Braves person the New York Yankees about having all go back. That Monday afternoon was one of the highlights of marriage. Young lies below than a decade after the Braves one, the title: the franchise, left Milwaukee for Atlanta, a team to root for Mary Span I'm starting to fade She was in her early twenties by then and more Just what the world expect it of young women for Mary and her older sister, Pat Alot of those, vexations came from their mother, here's Pats daughter, Laura Shoe. It she felt they, both my mother and Mary. Had two choices, one would be a secretary and one would
to be a teacher graduated from college followed her mothers blueprint. She got it. OB teaching, highschool history, married your college boyfriend and gave birth to a son for awhile, everything was going according to plan, but then eighteen. Seventy four Mary dear gotten, a very bad car accident. At first they look like Pat, was going to recover but within days she fell into a coma and a few weeks after that she slipped away when pad died. Mary fell into a deep despair, the only thing that helped even for a little while, with baseball by then Milwaukee had a new team, the brewers weren't any good. The change in mind. She but those days and a memoir that's never been published. Something happen me at the ball park for the first time pads death. I felt a sense of peace. I went
another game secretly afraid that it wouldn't work again, but it did When I tried to analyze what was happening, I couldn't didn't make any sense, but then, neither did anything else. With her love of baseball rekindled, Shane thought about all the child. Her dream she cast aside growing up she wanted to be a sports reporter, but it had never seem like a practical option and now with no experience as a journalist and a small child. at home. She didn't know where to start what she knew It was a little nudge permission to take the first step that bidding came from a surprising place, less advanced, coming given common folks, an auction on a local PBS station. The last item on the table is Burma lab wave. One of the item up. Forbidding was an all access road trip. With the brewers the announced described it as a great opportunity for a boy and his father Shay
it has been suggested that two of them put in a bed, they dead twelve hundred dollars and they won Jane had written a few articles for a suburban Milwaukee newspaper, but this was her chance to be a real reporter to follow the team I view the players and put together a story tread didn't go issued, hoped this other acts. She'd been promised. struggle to get any wonder time at the hotel pool. She asked the brewers announcer Merle Harmon for advice, you'll never be one of the boys Mary. He told her you're too feminine When she got back home, she tripped up an article that included harmony, dismissive comment: the peace rejected by an editor than a walkie journal. He said she never truly understand the life of a baseball player on the road. the chain did manage to get a version of the peace published in women's sport.
A magazine launched by feminist icon, Billy Jean King, shameful jubilant, not long after she decided to go for him. She was quit her teaching job and become a freelance sportswriter, for a woman in the nineteen seventys. The idea a career in sports journalism was considered outlandish Polina learn that first hand. When I oh my guidance counselor in high school, and I wanted to be a sportswriter. She laughed at me and she said pick something you can reasonably expect to do It didn't. Listen to that guidance counselor in nice, Seventy seven. She got a job the Chicago. Sometimes I would pick up the phone. And I'd say hello, sometimes sports and then a pause in the boy At the other end would say. Let me to somebody who knows something we were treated differently in the spots, I mean, I remember, covering
football game at the University of Illinois and at its rider see it was a pile of prayer. no sir, I'm statistics on and my seat had nothing. Mary shame got her first job. By. looking into a Milwaukee radio station, and Can you see the sport stricter? it was nineteen. Seventy five, her first assignment, the feature on the Marquette University cheerleaders. She got four dollars. She was happy to have the work which she was. Quite living her dream, she want cover baseball. Shames bosses at the radio station doubted she could do the job done Walkie brewers didn't allow women and their locker room that meant a woman reporter would have trouble getting quote on deadline. But shame convinced the station to give her a shot. She wrote That try out in her memoirs on opening day. Nineteen. Seventy six. I was on the field at county stadium with my microphone,
I've never taken any drugs, so I can't be sure, but I don't think anyone was ever higher than I was that day, gloried in it about two minutes and the pressure hit the quotes the quotes I had to get the quotes after the game. Shame raced back and forth. Grab players as they exited the home and visitors locker rooms she ton of interviews but missed out on the losing manager, the Yankees Billy, Martin, desperate, not to fail drove to the teams, hotel and tracked down. Martin at the bar, he was annoyed. Usually, I don't you the questions after I leave the ballpark, he told her, but he answered a few for her James bosses were impressed. She got the job now Mary Jane was doing what she wanted to do. She was at the ball park. Every day with their microphone asking questions There were times when I presented the fact that I had to work twice as hard as the male reporters
they were home. Relaxing of devising their stories still racing around the deserted concourse of county stadium, but I loved it imagine a better job, though is often still radio station fighting the bulky machines. It too, I am and had to be up at seven. with my two year old son. I was rarely tired. I couldn't wait to get back to the ball Park, shames determination had brought her a long way and a short amount of time, given how far she come. a full time. Job and sports journalism felt like a dream, fully realized, but Life was about to change in a totally unexpected way. At all started when she got noticed by the most famous announcer in all of baseball, we'll be back in a minute.
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two wondering m dot com slash one year to sign up today. That's W o N the hour. I? U am dot com slash one year wondering m dot com slash one year. Even when the white socks, where their absolute worst, they they had one thing going for them: Harry Carry would become a national item in the eightys as an announcer for the Cubs carry was with the white socks first and on the south. side of Chicago. He was an enormous star, Bob Strunk again, first of all and Harry, carries mine, he's gonna market himself. How thus hurry carry was not a very pleasant goody being repeated a final score Minnesota. A Dame white socks, sects.
ITALY use Gonna sell beer in. Thirdly, he's gonna trying to sell tickets, which he did well anyway, double had ever beheld a day. youngsters of your accompanied by a paid adult you'll receive free. I Chicago whites dogs body, but carry called socks games on television and radio, but he did just connect with the fans at home at the ball park. He'd wave his here at the adoring crowd in. efficient out into the stands to collect messages, to read on the air Stephen Low, measured running our second wanting out of our three carry drew energy from being close to his adoring public. Sometimes even had cast games from the stands. He did, does that. On June eighth, nineteen, seventy six when the white Socks, The brewers in Milwaukee County Stadium,
Mary Jane was at the ballpark that day doing her job as a radio reporter before the first pitch. She walked, and introduced herself to carry. He smiled then asked but the girl, like you doing in the press box, for too long, yet another question would you like to. on the air with me a clear what exactly carry was thinking well. this was a real audition earth I just saw a woman in the press box and asked her to join him on a lark but regard of his intentions. It wasn't it. The ordinary moment only a hand full of women had ever gotten the chance to broadcast a big league sporting event in the night. Ten seventies. There wasn't much history for Mary, Jane the drawn Ernie template for her to follow, but chain didn't hesitated. She told carry she'd love to go on the air with him. I was scared, of course, but I guess those months of approaching athletes had given me a confidence I hadn't really known. Was there,
and Harry made it so easy that we could have been talking in a corner bar. I was overwhelmed with his mastery of an extraordinarily difficult job I was overwhelmed with him and I know had more fun in my life. The next day Carry told Shane some Good NEWS, The radio station in Chicago had liked what they had heard from her here editor to sit in a second time and then a few months later, carry asked chained to make a third appearance when that guy, was finished, he said there was a chance. This could turn into something bigger them who ran the weights OX world to add another broadcaster, and then he asked her Would you like to do this full time? No woman had ever gotten a kind of opportunity and Mary Jane wasn't about to turn it down. she told him.
I'd rather do this than anything honor. Mary Jane had built a fledgling career and sports journalism without getting much encouragement. She'd fought through, so AIDS and degradation that her male colleagues never had to face. But now everything look different She was thirty one years old and she reached the pinnacle of were teacher from Milwaukee was going on baseball games on radio and television, Patrick shame is three years old. Fredericks daddy is a security broke. He works with the stocks and packaging Mommy has a job to Besides, we re looking at she works with the shocks. in eighteen. Seventy, seven Mary shame the rookie announcer was a very big story. She got profile the news purse and magazines across the country in feed by CBS and NBC some let's treated her as a curiosity
working mother in a man's game. Others focused and how she looked one piece: written an Ex major leaguer was headlined beauty in the booth. a decade earlier a young woman named Betty Keyword had been looked at in a similar way. On the game show. What's my line a group of library paneless puzzled over why her profession might possibly be Kay would be very obvious. Good looks have anything at all to do with your job. I dont think knocking MRS K would would it be possible for a man to do what you do the matter. How do you know that there are men doing what you do? there more men than women doing what you may? I have a quick one, there's a girl been hired by the following the canvas, any baseball team. Are you a girl, but he too would broadcast a handful of games in eighteen, sixty four, after that she never
Does a sports castor again going The nineteen seventy seven season, that was the big one about Mary Jane. Did the whites Think of her is a legitimate broadcaster, or did get hired as a stunt, just like Betty K would A lot has changed since nineteen sixty four title: gave millions of girls and women the chance to play sports in high school in college. A woman ran the Boston Marathon and rode a horse and the Kentucky Derby Jane as a Dane became the first woman commentator on an end. I fell again and Billy. Jean king triumphed Antennas battle of the sexes in all other countries, while the owner of the White Tax bill. That was it civil rights champion in nineteen, forty seven, when on the Cleveland Indians had signed. The first black player in the American League. Just a few months Jackie Robinson integrated the majors
That was also a true capitalist, and he had the soul of a carnival barker. His most famous stunt came one thousand nine hundred and fifty one when you hired a little person as a pinch, hitter is Strikezone, was said to measure one and one slash two in Bechtold Goodell that a man in the stands with a high powered rifle would shooting if he swung at a pitch, didn't swing. He walked in his only played appearance that day that Saint Louis Browns, their biggest home crowd. In years. Nineteen seventies that talked about Whites acts as a team for the common man, petrol loser. There was way overdue for a bunch of big whence once in a while, the have nots rise. Smith, the mighty right in a bus, You think I would have invested my last dollar if I thought that this was the way like sooner insisted that his new announcer wasn't a gimmick
He said the merry shame got the job because she was intelligent and articulate and did her homework, but so described her as very attractive and as a parent you'll burn to the teams, marketing efforts. That pointed out that more than a third of the fans of baseball games are women. He said think they certainly are entitled to some representation. He do anything dissolved workers. I love them for that's Charlie Warner. the General manager of w and makes you I am the rate, the station the broadcast Chicago awaits OX games. Knowing back as the greatest promoter and baseball history. I mean I want to promote women. Yes, but he wanted to sell tickets Mary Shane heard all the speculation about why she been hired and she had her own questions about the teams. Motivations chains Laura Shoe. It says her ended. everything she could to be seen as a real announcer, one heard oppose holding up
wearing a baseball cap in acute seem manner, and she was like that. That's not what I'm doing and sports castor and not the mass got so now, I'm not undo that she thought I was hired for a job do my best and if some This is a gimmick, I guess, such then, but that's not how she's viewed it. For even a second Shame told one writer that she'd already composed the first line of her opening day broadcast hi. This is petite blonde Mary, shame, She wasn't serious ass. She put it. there's too much at stake to fool around shameful, but the pressure she felt to prove the Chief and other women could handle this job outside. Those guess, bonds with Harry carry you didn't, have much experience as a game broadcaster and so As the nineteen seventy seven season approached, she tried to learn the rhythms of announcing Michael
girls, Highschool basketball games for shame the white sucks bring, in Camp and Sarasota Florida was, are only real chance to learn on the job sheets. The stance during exhibition games, doing play by play into a tape recorder, then was back to understand the mistake she made but in nineteen seventy seven Shane didn't have the luxury of privacy. A big crew from CBS followed her round on her first day and Sarasota flashing alight meter interface and sang ten were not here, those camera, captured a snippet of chains. First broadcast a practice came the became very public. We ve got the bottom. The third inning. Now it shut lemon is facing dogmatic, tip, aligned, drive to write field and, if going to then you'll be around there a bit Neal's going to Stephanie's lady's, going to keep going until I throw will not catch him as he flies in his first but first game, shame filter through constrict in her hands.
Start to shake She had no idea how she was doing and Harry carried didn't give her any clues when it was over. She felt overcome with we're all she could do was get up, walk out of the booth and say see you tomorrow. Let's take a quick break. Nowadays, the way teams work is constantly evolving, Monday, Outcome work. Oh ass is a flexible platform for everyone's work. customizable to your team and personalized to you. It's a platform. But the gives teams the ability to create the workshop where they need and want for their organizations this freedom, and you can build anything
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communicate with our audience. There's a new show with a bunch of new stories, so we're figuring things out as we go along feedback from all of you is incredibly important to understand what we're doing right and how we can improve and hopefully get some great ideas about what we should cover. Next male chimps customer Journey builder Humpty stay ahead of what your customers might by next. It can even set automatic, follow up emails based on their journey. Tell you close the deal with male chimp. You get a whole lot more than a url. You get an all in one marketing platform to help drive sales. That means you can connect your data to make more informed, smarter decisions, and you get power
Automation; tools like the customer journey builder to ensure you never miss an opportunity to turn shoppers into loyal customers. So if you're ready to integrate your marketing and be sales, get started today at male chimp, dot com, flash smart marketing, male chimp built for growing businesses. When Mary Jane went back north after spring training He couldn't have imagined, she'd be calling games for a first place team. The way Bob's drunk remembers it the experts. Asian. That committee Park were extraordinarily low. they seven? I they D lost up first game in the pitching. This atrocious in the defence, where's was lab, I mean you had Alan Banister shortstop aid catch, you do bouncer it really. Say: relief and jelly want a throwaway need, throw it into the stands on the plus side.
wait. I did have a bunch of new players and is the season got going? Strunk couldn't be what he was saying: Volor suddenly got always power oh Jesus. They ve got ask your gavel. They got it Sad our whole, there are hitting the whole month the seventy seven socks became known as the south side head man and the fan absolutely love them. Man, go you begin to understand, and income is, can part were busy as so great that even the appearance of away stocks demands is ending ovation south that's, where Mary she found herself in eighteen, seventy seven in one of the most high profile, gigs and sports, and one of the most This ball mad towns in America, No, I really wonder nothing. Illegal regime had to put yourself in brief
Stop her chair to see over the edge of the broadcast booth she's, within arms length, of a big stack of paper, notes and statistics. The whole team in the visitors fitting to ninety nine coming into the game to mad, but it doesn't again they compare with away with it and, lastly, she's alive. to keep track of a lot to do she done both radio and tv during the same game dash from one booth to the other. She, alternated between play by play in color commentary, whining she'd take the in describing the action one mile to strike. Nobody on and one out here, the one to pit going back together, warnings that again in any later,
she chime into support Harry Carry. Is he took him God, my guy look bad so far, only link with no Aki, I replied been around everything on July thirty. First, with the weights in first place The crowd was in high spirits and the broad History sounded bliss everybody buried guide, but a poor Mary Mary. You say that you ve been well being at New York Harry the treatment Mary Jane, was having a hard time. Harry Harry, had ass Jane if she wanted to be a full time broadcaster Official job offer came. It was a part time deal the way,
Alex played a hundred and sixty two games in eighteen. Seventy seven but Jane broadcast only thirty, five of them she'd, some deemed do weeks without appearing. On the other hand, I think I was I haven't had any letter labour laughing. Why not weird bending over again you anything about it, go away from people inside, but thank you. In any case, you thought I do agree there. now calling games regularly. Shane found it impossible to get into any kind of Groove Harrington we didn't all of a sudden get born any was Harry Gary. That's Susan Woman she's answer for the New York Yankees. You learn how to do that. You learn how to pace yourself. You learn how to watch the game. Broadcasting is an I it's like learning to act is like learning to sing. You have to practice. You cannot wander into the booth and there and all of a sudden open your mouth when chain It open her mouth. She got flat
no matter what she said, her niece Laura Shoe. It whose criticized for her voice and so she went to a voice. Coach, and tried to actually lower change. Her voice changed Ah said: the radio station Charlie Warner said that she too, those boys lessons because she was worried about sounding shrill. Male baseball fans are I got more calls and letters, but the walls were from. older. Guys, warm on all she's, durable. no baseball Jimmy, I'm young, care. If she was a woman, she was just trying to call a baseball game. Bob strong, thanks Chicago sports fans have bad taste and broadcasters. He said
They only want to listen. Homers answers you cheer on the home team to an embarrassing degree, and that was something Mary Shane refused to do. She wouldn't go Two extremes in telling little white lies to fail you know the only region we loss was causing the umpire shouldn't. Do any of that stuff. Helene Elliot of the Chicago sometimes thought chain was incredibly courageous. Elliot also knew from experience how hard it was. Be a pioneer, but she didn't think that every day Sheikh obtains announcing work was motivated by sexism. Nineteen, seventy seven Elliot wrote: the chain was solid and capable, but no more than that the heads, and of her son Times, column, Mary, shame where's that She really didn't have time to grow into the job. If she had had more time should develop her style and her personality and more experience. in the chair, she might have become more,
interesting and exciting, and an absorbing by that point she really wasn't all this. outside criticism was tougher. Shane to deal with, the treatment she got in the broadcast booth was even more difficult to handle, as the year went on, Shane came to believe the one of her colleagues with sabotaging her, not We carry but a lesser known member of the White Socks Broadcasting Lorn Brown I brought a very shrank back and give us the market. We gotta go back at a nosegay of organ. had beaten, meaning or cheap shots any chance he got to put her down. He would bring Behavior was pretty obvious. One Chicago columnist wrote that he left Shane High and dry and the booth Lauren Brown died and two thousand ten he started. the White socks one year before shamed it it's possible that he saw her as an interloper that he felt threatened by her Mary Jane son, Patrick, was just four years old and nineteen seventy seven.
But when he got older, his mother told us about her workplace nemesis. She would tell me stories about. She would make a comment and then Lorn Brown would say something. I will what Mary meant to say there was as if she was incapable of articulating her own thoughts ash. And struggled at work, her life at home wasn't much of a safe harbour, her late with her husband had started to fall apart before the nineteen. Seventy seven season by the of that year. They split up chains knees Laura with one of her close this conference. During this difficult time you have to cross ts darker eyes in the perfect And even when you're perfect doesn't good enough when put someone who is so Philip perfectionist and wants to do her best feels like there's no other way to be It really was torture. She was asked to do the impossible and It was her honor
The only Mary Jane broadcast we ve been able to track down is the one from July, thirty, first, nineteen, seventy seven that was the when the white socks stormed back to beat the Kansas City Royals in the bottom of the ten. Turning he was wanted. most thrilling moments of the seventy seven season, and of Mary Shades announcing career the broadcasting a few moments later Lorn Brown was on the microphone talking Mary shames last words were gonna. Get me outta everything going abroad,
the weight, socks dream season didn't last, they fell out of first place in August and finished I'll games out of the players? Mary shades time is, a broadcaster would be short, lived to white socks. or bill back seem to lose interest in chain. Is the season went on before the was done. That polder from the teams. Television broadcasts chains Your time would get cut to have Charlie Warner left the station to take a job in New York Mary shame Was not being applied by play. Sports announcer is really really hard. Emerging simply the matter today. regret throwing her into this situation. Now I don't ya I do it again The nineteen seventy seven study by a Yale sociology professor, showed that women in white collar jobs, were less as individuals than representatives of their gender.
The women were always noticed on the job, but rarely rewarded for their achievements that Our colleagues and customers forgot women's credentials the remembered how they dressed The men who ran the white socks gave Mary Jane and opportunity, but they didn't. Change baseball's culture wrecking is their own biases. They dropped in inexperience woman broadcaster into a man's world, then her when she wasn't an instant success, she didn't, get offered a new contract after the nineteen seventy seven season Harry Carry Tee the rapporteur did. He felt sorry that she wouldn't be back explain the chain with knowledgeable, but people objected to her voice. Carry described that voice as annoying and winning reshape, told the press that she did the best she could but she had no regrets the chief. like she's gonna, real shot, sound, Laura shoe it
She would never say that because she was not a minor at all. Then she was not a victim, but I think in her heart for sure she felt she hadn't gotten a shot. We'll be back in a minute. Patrick Shane remembers his mother's two voices her real one. And the one she used on the air, so she'd soundless shrill to male baseball fans as a kid I don't like that voice. It sounds fake. You know we ve made a game of it. I believe talk like Mary now talk like that. Other lady It wasn't who she was when her too with the weights, OX ended Shane Audition for an honor role with CBS in New York, but she did get the job. Up ended her life to pursue a crazy dream, and now it seems that dream was over shamed
back on her old path. Teaching cool in suburban Milwaukee. She found it comfort in that life fell more normal and more secure. But shame can never be truly happy playing it safe she wanted to do what she loved she wanted to back in the sports. Writing. I dont know if it's sadistic or what it is, but all she will to do is be in this place. Where no one hundred or so in, I was like eight years old or whatever she owes pretended that I was the decision and she'd say Patrick. Is it cool with you if we move to Iowa and I cover Illinois our high school sports? You know- and I would say of course you know with tears minds. Yes ma am we can do you know? I thought it was really gonna dogmas agrees. Is Christ you're, gonna, move to frighten the quad cities and I were uncovered the? Why wouldn't work She took a job as a rapporteur at the Moline dispatch. Her mother moved whether to help take care of tat as a single mom with a demanding job she needed all the support she could get that
the thing was just really minor league in owes freeze freezing cold sometime There is only room for her. On top of the press backs that she'd have to sit outside. I don't there were many women in that area that express any interest in sport. So she was, like flown in from the outside the sake alien species aid, never seen after two, half years and the quad cities, Mary, Jane and her family relocated. Again, it was that move to. where the Boston Celtics for the west or telegram that brought shame back to the big leagues, not long after she got assigned to the pro basketball, be the cell when the nineteen eighty four NBA title, what some of your memory is around her action. engaged in the practice of doing her work, a lot it. I would tag along with her. Then I would say it outside the press room while she finished, story, and then I'd be allowed to go in and get like one size, a pizza. I understood very early on that when she was working, that's what she was doing and
was to respect that time. In the NBA and the midnight unities Mary. She, It was once again a pioneer There was only one other women. Usually besides me. Mary Jane Merrick Jane, was their first. That's Jackie, Mc Molin. Back then She wrote about the Celtics for the Boston Globe I'll ever, we're talking to her about how tough it is to be a woman in the business. I don't think any of us talked about that because you have a choice. You are woman, you are in the business, do your job and that's how Mary approached it and very quickly how I learned or approach it at first. Baltics barred chain from going inside their locker room, just as them away key brewers had done in the nineteen seventies while her male colleagues had free rein chain. had to ask the players to join her. In a tiny closet, loaded with duffel bags and basketballs, but Didn't let that unfairness deter her. She just kept coming to work and thanks to her
the Celtics eventually changed their locker room policy, Mary Jane was finally getting treated as an equal. Jackie make Molin benefited from the access the chain fought for show. They took lessons from how Shane did her work, I mean what I learned from Mary was professionalism and doing your job without a hidden agenda, and always showing up he wrote something good or bad or indifferent, and just treat people, with the respect that you hope that they would treat you if they made Maybe five Larry Bird busted his hand. Reportedly, in a bar fight that in the Celtics biggest are probably tank their title chances. was the biggest story of the season and bird refused to talk about it, until he opened up to marry, Shane Bird tone her that he didn't want to be the guy. Everyone expects to be perfect. He also talked about disappointing his mother and feeling isolated in Boston. He let chain
and her readers know who he really was covering the Celtics is everything Mary Jane had hoped sports journalism would be. She was a true Did colleagues not a gimmick, her voice, carried weight and she didn't need to worry about how it sounded. I think it was a thief leveller for her shirt said Mary Jane, but when their reading it, they don't hear woman reading a tomb and analysed people that would probably have objected to that. To just say you know what a chicken right you know we ve been usually pretty small spaces, all deadline, ready and sometimes. some other guys were, let's just say, more story than others, and I do remember once Mary turn around saying, You're not working, please be quiet envy. I was like got. You go Mary. I was too young even attempt to say things like that. she was devoted to her job and her family and pretty much nothing else. She made a huge effort to take me to
sporting events when she wasn't covering them, and I felt honoured that she would go to sporting events in her. time so that I might have a cool experience with her and the reality is that she probably enjoyed it as much. If not more than I did. One thing Mary Jane did not excel at was taking care of herself order: it was diet, Coke merit ultra light and then whatever was the fastest way to inhale food that would keep her alive. I think Push yourself and push yourself and just never would rest like she shut. during her time at the West Telegram, she started having problems with their heart, she'd faint, sometimes last week we Laura shoe it again, And I remember me: when close shopping Nothing would fit her, so we had you gonna kids, common area and then she got king is haunting aha
on the morning of November Third eighteen. Eighty seven chain was getting ready to interview the ten, a star Chris ever wish. Didn't come downstairs. Her mother went check on her. She found Mary dead and the bathtub. the cause of death was a brain aneurysm Mary Jane was forty two years old. and everything that I knew you noticed it immediately vanished before He was kind of my lodestone in life and with one that goes away. You know the level of uncertainty for a forty yoke, has pre overwhelming he, She was somebody who inspired me in show how strong someone could be. impossible expectations in I could never met, up to her, but I sure I should try it. Almost thirty four years since Mary Shane died and forty four years
or one season with the Chicago White sucks. It was an incredible opportunity for her sink or swim, and maybe she didn't swim. I think what's important is, that, after that happened, she regrouped and came back to her love of sports and informed success elsewhere. did she went after. What you wanted is is amazing. You know I didn't go after necessarily what I wanted in my life. So it's I think her accomplishments. A more profound that I mean she made me proud she included mean things, You know it's just hard right. You have this idyllic childlike view of your mother, which is perfection and adjust its been hard to reconcile that with everyone else in the world that I've ever met. On July, twentieth two thousand twenty one, a team of five, where Broadcasters called the Baltimore Orioles game against the Tampa Bay, raise the first
all women on air crew in major league history lay shot. Anderson comes outside and allow works of three one count, and you see what the pit statements I mention were really just gonna see flyers enforcing rest from him and that's been but all these years since Mary Shane made her debut women announcers are still a rarity susan, wild men whose Her seventeenth season calling Yankees Games remain the only woman who's in a major league broadcast booth, full time I have said many times that I think I'm not accepted in this business. I am tolerated, and now I've been there so long that they can't get rid of me. They wouldn't blink and I, if every woman disappeared- and it's not- I don't even know if it's sexism- maybe they're, just more comfortable with a male voice. Mary, Jane, send her more to a publisher and an agent in eighteen, eighty one they both rejected. It thing they didn't think it would sell her son Patrick sent me a copy recently its incomplete it ends on page one thing
team in the middle of a sentence, but she, his voice still comes through very clearly. I keep it. Turning to the same short passage about this, less baseball gave her. When her sister died, they booted balls. They threw wildly They stumbled on the base penance. She wrote of the Milwaukee brewers, but it didn't I don't even remember who they played. I just the feeling of being at the ball park. The hot dogs in the green grass and the throw around the infield after a strike out and I remember that I can hoping for extra innings- I did what the game to end
a slight plus members, get to hear the show and every slate podcast without any ass and I'll never had a pay wall on sleigh dot com. If you join- lay plus you also be supporting the work we do here and will have some more members. Only episodes for one year coming out later, this season, It's only one dollar, four, the first month. So please sign up it's late calm such one year plus next time on one year. Nineteen, seventy seven, the family leaves that a cancer drug cod lateral is there a chance to save their sons life, but the matter we'll establishment cause, lay a trail, dangerous quackery. I never. encountered. Anyone who would not treat their child
gracefully was necessary if there was any remote chance of you never crossed my mind that such people existed on the face of the earth. One year is produced by me and Evan charged with the toil direction by low in lieu and Gabriel wrath Madeleine do Sharm is one year's assistant producer. You can see I'll, be back and ideas and memories from nineteen? Seventy seven one year at slate, dotcom we'd love to hear from you are mixed engineer. Is marriage Jacob the hour for one year by Jim Cook, Dana Stevens. Voice of Mary Jane and special thanks Nancy Thoust, Leslie, Visser, Jason Betty Amy fiscal, Chris Camper Dave Marin, Jenny, caviar, John Guerin, Jeff twists Mark looked
Josh, maybe Maria back overturn Scott Diener Jarrett. June Thomas Sung Park, Katy River, Asha solution Amber Psmith southward, Rachel Strong and chow too, Thanks for listening. We, with more from nineteen seventy seven next week.
Transcript generated on 2021-07-30.