Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Love Affair With Sports Radio Part One

A friend on Facebook had a post about the late, great Dr. Don Rose from KFRC 610 AM. He was the undisputed king of Bay Area radio. I loved his morning show as a teenager. I listened to KFRC all the time. I would fall asleep to it. It was in my room I had dreams of being on the radio. I also dreamt of being the next Johnny Carson, but that didn't happen. (Jimmy Fallon, you're no Johnny Carson). 
I also loved sports, so I wanted to eventually be a play by play guy or host a pre game or post game show. My heroes were Vin Scully, Hank Greenwald and Lon Simmons. You just knew it was spring when Lon Simmons was on the radio, reporting from Phoenix Muni where the A's played spring training games. I always thought the games and stories sounded better from Spring Training. 
On the Giants side of the AM dial, the Giants broadcasters would report live from the bat at The Pink Pony in Scottsdale. Every spring they were at this magical place called The Pink Pony. It was where all of baseball would meet, eat and drink. The place would sound packed with people as Hank Greenwald would interview players from the past and present. It was known as THE HOT SPOT to been seen or just see. I went there for the first time ever as an adult last year,and the place was DEAD! It was reminiscent of the scene in Swingers when Trent and Mike went to the Stardust thinking the place would be hopping, and it was nothing but old people around! The bartender at The Pink Pony was happy to see us. He told us everyone was at Don and Charlie's! (More on Arizona on a future post)
My point mentioning this is I thought radio was gonna take me places I could only dream about. Well, it did in my mind as a teenager when I would try to imagine what Phoenix Muni looked liked or where in the world HoHoKam Park was. I dreamed radio would actually take me to these places.
All it turned out to be was dreams. Once I went to high school, I encountered a bunch of guys from the other Jr. High School who had the looks, intellect, connections, money and confidence to succeed in not only school but in life. They were the guys all the guys wanted to be or hang out with, and they were the guys the girls wanted to be with. In my mind they were the New York Yankees. They had all the resources I could only have dreamt of. I was from a single parent home. We were the Cleveland Indians. We weren't rich and we weren't poor, but we got by. I was ashamed of my home life then. Now I look back and I'm proud. My mom did the best she could. She ruled the house like George Steinbrenner and spent money wisely like Gene Autry! 
I look back and I wonder why I let a bunch of Jack asses from high school crush my dream. It was just my mind set back then. I didn't think I had what it took. I'm happy with my life now. So now when I listen to the radio, I dream of where I could have been. But I'm happy where I'm at. 

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