A 1956 “Game of The Day” Snapshot

Galveston Daily News Saturday, April 28, 2015 Courtesy of Darrell Pittman

Galveston Daily News
Saturday, April 28, 1956
Courtesy of Darrell Pittman


The featured advertisement above appeared in The Galveston Daily News on Saturday morning, April 28, 1956. Its promotion of the CBS “Game of the Day” telecast over KGUL-TV, the original call letters for Channel 11’s KHOU-TV when the station originated its broadcasts from studios and cable connections in Galveston, were a must for those of us in the minor league hinterlands who longed for the sight of big league action, even if they weren’t showing our favorite club, the St. Louis Cardinals, back in those pre-Colt .45s days.

Dizzy Dean, of course, was the big attraction of this show for older Huston baseball fans. In 1956, it only had been 25 years since Dean had pitched the Houston Buffs to a Texas League championship before, three years later, guiding the 1934 Gashouse Gang Cardinals to a World Series victory over Detroit. Diz was still big with Houston fans in 1956.

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,” old Diz would say at the start of every telecast, “and welcome to (wherever)! It’s a great day for baseball!”

In 1956, Dean was still working with former journeyman MLB infielder Buddy Blattner as his broadcast sidekick and joke/song/and storytelling ears. Blattner worked with Dean on ABC (1953-54) and CBS (1955-59) for seven years before personal conflicts between the two men led to a parting of the ways for the sidekick guy. Blattner went on to other broadcasting work as Dizzy Dean joined partnership with Pee Wee Reese in 1960.

CBS Game of the Day Buddy Blattner and Dizzy Dean 1956

CBS Game of the Day
Buddy Blattner and Dizzy Dean

With the always helpful Baseball Almanac as our resource, here’s a look at the KGUL-TV advertised game between Pittsburgh and Brooklyn at Ebbets Field on April 28, 1956. We haven’t checked the weather records for Brooklyn in New York City on that date in history, but we feel certain that if old Diz was there, it must have been “a great day for baseball!”

Baseball Almanac Box Scores Brooklyn Dodgers 5

Pittsburgh Pirates 2

Pittsburgh Pirates ab   r   h rbi
Roberts 2b 2 0 0 0
  Skinner ph 1 0 0 0
  O’Brien 2b 1 0 0 0
Groat ss 4 0 1 0
Long 1b 4 1 2 1
Thomas lf 4 0 1 0
Clemente cf 4 0 1 0
Walls rf 4 1 2 0
Freese 3b 2 0 1 0
Atwell c 3 0 1 1
Hall p 3 0 0 0
Totals 32 2 9 2
Brooklyn Dodgers ab   r   h rbi
Gilliam lf 4 1 2 1
  Cimoli lf 0 0 0 0
Robinson 3b 4 1 0 0
Snider cf 4 0 1 0
Campanella c 3 0 0 0
Hodges 1b 2 2 2 1
Furillo rf 4 1 2 2
Neal 2b 3 0 1 1
Zimmer ss 4 0 1 0
Newcombe p 4 0 0 0
Totals 32 5 9 5
Pittsburgh 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 9 0
Brooklyn 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 0 x 5 9 0
  Pittsburgh Pirates IP H R ER BB SO
Hall  L(0-2) 8.0 9 5 5 6 4
  Brooklyn Dodgers IP H R ER BB SO
Newcombe  W(2-1) 9.0 9 2 2 2 9

E–None.  DP–Pittsburgh 1. Newcombe-Zimmer-Hodges, Brooklyn 1. Newcombe-Zimmer-Hodges.  2B–Pittsburgh Walls (1,off Newcombe); Long (4,off Newcombe), Brooklyn Furillo 2 (4,off D. Hall 2).  HR–Pittsburgh Long (5,6th inning off Newcombe 0 on 1 out), Brooklyn Hodges (3,2nd inning off D. Hall 0 on 0 out); Gilliam (3,7th inning off D. Hall 0 on 0 out).  SH–Freese (1,off Newcombe); Snider (1,off D. Hall).  Team LOB–6.  IBB–Hodges (2,by D. Hall).  Team–10.  SB–Clemente (1,2nd base off Newcombe/Campanella).  CS–Clemente (1,3rd base by Newcombe/Campanella).  U-HP–Frank Dascoli, 1B–Frank Secory, 2B–Stan Landes, 3B–Larry Goetz.  T–2:35.  A–7,806.

Baseball Almanac Box Score | Printer Friendly Box Scores


4 Responses to “A 1956 “Game of The Day” Snapshot”

  1. stanfromtacoma Says:

    When I saw the caption “Game of the Day” I thought I’d be reading about the Mutual radio network “Game of the Day” which really was just that. Fallstaff Beer was a sponsor of those broadcasts and old Diz called some St Louis Browns games for Mutual. Most of the Mutual Game of the Day duties were handled by Al Helfer. Al would broadcast a game say in Chicago one day, in St Louis the next day then in Cleveland the following day, and on to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and New York on following days. It was a schedule no one in his right mind would agree to. Houston’s Gene Elston was on some of the Mutual Game of the Day broadcasts before he became the voice of the Colt 45’s.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      My bad, Stan. I was thinking “Game of the Week” and wrote “Game of the Day” – most probably because the old “Game of the Day radio broadcasts were a far greater influence upon me – along with the historical recreations by Gordon McClendon on Liberty.

  2. Anthony Cavender Says:

    I see that Dale Long hit a homerun for Pittsburgh. I believe that was the year he homered in seven or eight consecutive games

  3. Tom Hunter Says:

    When I first started watching the Game of the Week in 1957, there were two games: one on Saturday and one on Sunday-both with Dizzy Dean and Buddy Blattner. The Falstaff ads featured the Old Pro and his dog, Searchlight. And Al Helfer called Colt .45s games in 1962.

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