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Joe Ferolito Column June 28, 2018: Back to the radio days…

The other day I was traveling from DeFuniak Springs to Ebro and began flipping my radio dial.

Much to my surprise I came across an Atlanta Braves baseball game. It was a rare mid-week day game featuring the Braves and Toronto.

Listening to the broadcast sure took me down memory lane.

I remember when the Braves came to Atlanta in the mid 60s.

It seemed like every little town in the south carried the team on local radio stations and you could head the golden voice of Milo Hamilton just about everywhere across the region.

But my memory lane went back even further.

In the 50s I became enamored with the game mainly through Mutual’s Game of the Day. It was a daily broadcast of a major league game that would feature a spectrum of the major league teams (only 16 then).

Then at night there was the search for other games through the radio.

It was mostly an in and out seeking as stations would come and go and static was prevalent.

But you could tell you were listening to the Cardinals if Harry Caray or later Jack Buck was describing a game.

If it was Red Barber it was the Dodgers, Mel Allen it was the Yankees, Bob Prince it was the Pirates.

And it wasn’t just major league teams you could follow. WSB out of Atlanta, WSM in Nashville, WNOE in New Orleans were baseball spots found on the dial.

Each team had it’s on magical voice ringing though the air letting fans know what was going on. And each voice seemed so knowledgeable, making a youngster think those announcers had the greatest job in the world, following baseball teams.

Those radio voices carried me and other rural youth to other worlds that could only be imagined.

I never dreamed I would actually see a Major League Baseball game.

In my youth I did attend minor league games in the Alabama-Florida League. Attend a major league game? That would never happen.

It has happened as I’ve been lucky to see games in several of those Meccas that were described on the radio.

But had you told me it would happen back then, it would mean I was in heaven and those voices that rung though the southern air were angels welcoming me to the ball game.

By Joe Ferolito