Jack Damaska’s Cardinals Cameo Gets Finale

I was delighted to receive a letter back from Jack Damaska. His month with the 1963 St. Louis Cardinals only hints at his many adventures during 17 years of pro baseball.

Check out
www.stlcardinalspostcards.com.
Fans would write in to get
free photos of their favorite
players. However, when a
player like Damaska returned
to the minors, the photos were
pulled. Therefore, his “postcard”
is rarer than stars like
Gibson or Brock.

I thought any Redbirds newcomer back then would know they had arrived when they were featured on a radio broadcast. Who talked with him?

“I was introduced to Harry Caray, but I was interviewed by Jack Buck on the radio. Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited into the broadcasting booth to talk with my ex-teammate Tim McCarver. I talked with Joe Buck at Yankee Stadium.”

Thanks to author George Rose, who suggested that I contact Damaska (one of the great profiles in the One Hit Wonders book).

Coming Monday: Beating a Hall of Fame pitcher.

Baseball’s Best Broadcasters: Collecting Ford Frick Winner Autographs

Posted December 21st, 2012 by Tom Owens and filed in Brian Flam, Ford Frick Award, Jack Buck, The Autograph Card

Brian Flam (www.theautographcard.com) brings new hope to the TTM hobby. He pointed out one attractive subset of baseball history that many autograph buffs have overlooked: the Ford Frick winners, as honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Although many early pioneers have died, Brian noted that he’s had good success through the years writing to broadcasters in care of their teams.

I agree. I treasure the bonus photo I received years ago from Jack Buck. He added “HOF 1987” and “Go Crazy Folks.”

Who’ll be the next names on the list? Get them early.

1978 Allen, MelMel Allen New York Yankees
1978 Barber, RedRed Barber Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees
1979 Elson, BobBob Elson Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Mutual
1980 Hodges, RussRuss Hodges New York/San Francisco Giants
1981 Harwell, ErnieErnie Harwell Detroit Tigers
1982 Scully, VinVin Scully Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, NBC
1983 Brickhouse, JackJack Brickhouse Chicago Cubs
1984 Gowdy, CurtCurt Gowdy Boston Red Sox, NBC
1985 Canel, BuckBuck Canel New York Yankees, New York Mets
1986 Prince, BobBob Prince Pittsburgh Pirates
1987 Buck, JackJack Buck St. Louis Cardinals, CBS
1988 Nelson, LindseyLindsey Nelson New York Mets
1989 Caray, HarryHarry Caray St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs
1990 Saam, ByBy Saam Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Athletics
1991 Garagiola, JoeJoe Garagiola NBC
1992 Hamilton, MiloMilo Hamilton Houston Astros
1993 Thompson, ChuckChuck Thompson Baltimore Orioles
1994 Murphy, BobBob Murphy New York Mets
1995 Wolff, BobBob Wolff Washington Senators, NBC
1996 Carneal, HerbHerb Carneal Minnesota Twins
1997 Dudley, JimmyJimmy Dudley Cleveland Indians
1998 Jarrín, JaimeJaime Jarrín Los Angeles Dodgers
1999 McDonald, ArchArch McDonald Washington Senators
2000 Brennaman, MartyMarty Brennaman Cincinnati Reds
2001 Ramírez, FeloFelo Ramírez Florida Marlins
2002 Kalas, HarryHarry Kalas Philadelphia Phillies
2003 Uecker, BobBob Uecker Milwaukee Brewers
2004 Simmons, LonLon Simmons San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics
2005 Coleman, JerryJerry Coleman San Diego Padres
2006 Elston, GeneGene Elston Houston Astros, CBS Radio
2007 Matthews, DennyDenny Matthews Kansas City Royals
2008 Niehaus, DaveDave Niehaus Seattle Mariners
2009 Kubek, TonyTony Kubek NBC, Toronto Blue Jays
2010 Miller, JonJon Miller Baltimore Orioles, San Francisco Giants, ESPN
2011 Van Horne, DaveDave Van Horne Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins
2012 McCarver, TimTim McCarver New York Mets, ABC, CBS, Fox

Jack Buck Versus Harry Caray? Cardinals Pitcher Dick Hughes Sorts Out the Pair In Two Words!

Hughes maintained that tight signature!

He finished second to Tom Seaver in 1967 National League Rookie of the Year balloting. A rotator cuff injury snuffed out his rising stardom in just three seasons.

Nevertheless, pitcher Dick Hughes remains a control master. He says so much in so few words.

Hughes debuted in St. Louis in September, 1966. I asked if he recalled interviews with broadcasters Jack Buck and Harry Caray, and the resulting impressions of each.

“Jack Buck was REAL; Harry not so! EGO.”

Before Tim McCarver logged decades as a broadcaster, he served as a batterymate. As a catcher, did Hughes find him either wise or witty during conferences on the mound?

“A trip to the mound in a ticklish situation in Philly. What he said to do I did and we won the game.”

Hughes served as part of the inaugural class of Redbirds breaking in “new” Busch Stadium. Having pitched nine minor league seasons, did Hughes consider the new ballpark a luxury?

“Dimensions were fine, but playing got extremely hot. Grass is best.”

The what-if career of Dick Hughes is fully described in this fine profile by Bob Netherton, found on the http://www.i70baseball.com/ website.