« The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe

Episode 55: The Man Behind the Microphone

2017-05-09 | 🔗

Sometimes choosing the right words means not sticking to the script.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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The story about two years. True, for the most part, so too. Are the stories of my new book. The way I heard it if you'd like an autograph copy. I've set a few aside for fans of the podcast which you can pick up at micro dot com, slash book. If you care about my autograph than go to micro, dotcom, Slash book anyway, to find them es. The book is available. Pretty much anywhere. Books are sold, Barnes and Noble Walmart target books, a million Hasn set the place. Hudson has them Amazon, of course, but the prices change all the time. So click around at micro dot com to see
who's got what for how much the reviews? Raw pretty much five star, very flattering New York Times calls are best seller. I think it would make a dandy Christmas present. People still say dandy anymore. I don't know, but your copy awaits at micro dotcom, Slash book. This is the way I heard The tension hung in the air a palpable thing. With two down and runners on the corners, the batter crowded the plate and the pitcher waited for his sign. He got it and unleashed a fastball, very high and very inside the batter ducked both benches leaped. To their feet and the umpire issued a warning now with the count, At three and two and the prospect of a brawl very real, the man behind the microphone knew exactly how to play it It all comes down to this. Ladies and gentlemen, the moment of truth, this epic
confrontation where two men meet on the field of battle, but only one can prevail in, kitchens and living rooms across the country fans. Leaned into their radios and held their collective breath as the pitcher went into his stretch, the runner on first bolted for second, the pitcher ignored him and served up a wicked slighter. The batter swung and sent the ball deep into left field, but just foul the crowd groaned, but stayed on their feet. The catcher walked to the mound for a quick conference. The batter stepped back into the box and waited for the sign He wanted. He got it this time. A change up at another foul ball high into the cheap seats. The announcer described the chaos as the two men fought for the souvenir painting, a picture that came alive in the mind's eye of all those who listened, but the drama was just getting started. The next three pitches were all foul balls: each sent to a different
area of the stadium, so over the next three after that and the next three. After that it was an extraordinary Opportunity for the tall irish kid with the radio voice in a Hollywood smile, and he made the most of every second, the batter stepping out of the box at the last moment to disrupt the pitcher's timing, the pitcher prowling the mouth like a tiger determined to get into the batter's head. Each pitch had become a chess match, a steely test of wills. Brought to life by the announcers urgent baritone, a voice that dripped with anticipation and possibility. Another foul ball and another after that and another after that. Finally, after fourteen foul balls, half a dozen trips to the mound and nearly twelve minutes of unrelenting tension, the man
behind the mic set the scene for the final time. Here we are, ladies and gentlemen. Another moment of truth in this battle Royal another pay off pitch in eternal show down this operatic contest of wills, both men are exhausted and both understand exactly what they must do here is the wind up and here's the pitch it's a strike fast and hard and right down the middle and the side is retired and so ended. One of the unusual at bats in the history of baseball, a called third strike on a batter of no great consequence from a pitcher of no particular acclaim in a game of no great importance, chronicled for posterity by and announcer who made the whole thing up
It's true the batter did strike out, but all those foul balls and everything in between was a figment of the sportscaster's imagination. You see in those days baseball games were called by announcers in radio stations. Far from the actual ballpark. They sat in small gray rooms behind large grey microphones waiting for a telegraph operator to send them the play by play, which they would then bring to life as best they could but when this particular telegraph signal was interrupted in the middle of this particular game, this particular sports Gaster didn't panic. The man behind the mic closed his eyes and called the game exactly the way he imagined it and the fans loved him for it, and so
Decades later, it came as no great surprise when America sat down to watch the biggest game of the year and listened with rapt attention to the play by play delivered by the now legendary broadcaster, a man who understood the importance of choosing just the right words at just the right time. Once again, the tension hung in the air a palpable thing: prospect of a brawl seemed very real and once again, when the moment came for the pay off pitch, the words he chose did not appear on his teleprompter or on the approved transcript on the podium before him
no. The words he chose on that particular day were his and his alone. Mr Gorbachev tear down this wall. This was no game, but those words were a strike nevertheless thrown fast and hard and write down the middle delivered Extemporaneous solely by the man behind the mic, a man who knew exactly how to play it. The fortieth president, of these United States and the most influential sports gaster of all time, Ronald Reagan. Anyway, that's wired.
Transcript generated on 2021-10-05.