Retro: Channel 13 will carry Colt Games in 1962

“Hello, Houston Baseball Fans, this is Bill Stern. Really wish I could’ve been there to call that first TV season for you in 1962, but they gave the gig to local pundit Guy Savage. – Too bad. Even with the TV cameras on hand, I could have given you some plays in those games that you would not have seen anywhere else in the world. – I guarantee it!”

 

Channel 13 Will Carry Houston Colt Games

HOUSTON (Victoria Advocate, April 15, 1962) – Houston-area television fans can go “big league” this season with the Houston Colt .45s!

KTRK-TV Channel 13 will telecast 14 Colt .45 games this season, Houston’s first year as a major league baseball city.

All telecasts but one will be on Sunday, and all are out-of-town games, beginning on Sunday when the Colt .45s go against the Philadelphia Phillies at 2:30 p.m. The pre-game ‘warm-up’ show will begin at 2 p.m.

Handling the telecasts will be Houston’s “Mr. Sports,” Guy Savage, sports director of channel 13. A veteran of more than 30 years as a sportscaster, Savage did his first play-by-play broadcasting of baseball in 1932 for the Beaumont Exporters of the Texas League. He did all home games of the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs for six years, telecast the entire home schedule of the Houston Buffs in 1949 for KLEE-TV, and was exclusive broadcaster for all Buff games from 1956 to 1958. In addition, he has covered all sports for radio and TV stations in Beaumont, Chicago, and Fort Worth. For 11 years, he was sports director for KXYZ where his sports show was Houston’s highest rated, before joining the channel 13 staff Jan. 1, 1960. His two daily sportscasts on channel 13, at 6:10 and 10:05 p.m., are considered the most authoritative in the field.

Channel 13’s telecast dates and the Colt .45 opponents are: May 6, the Milwaukee Braves; May 20, San Francisco Giants; June 3, Pittsburgh Pirates; Jun 17, Los Angeles Dodgers; June 24, New York Mets; July 8, Cincinnati Reds; Saturday, July 14, Pittsburgh; July 29, Chicago Cubs; Aug. 5, St. Louis Cardinals; Aug. 26, Cincinnati; Sept. 2, Chicago; and Sept. 16, Milwaukee. Another late season game will be announced.

On the telecasts, fans will be able to see such big league favorites as Don Drysdale, Wally Moon, Duke Snider, Frank Howard, Warren Spahn, Hank Aaron, Bob Friend, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Frank Robinson, Joey Jay, Don Hoad, Bil Virdon, Stan Musial, Ken Boyer, Lindy McDaniel, Willie Mays, Jim Davenport, Mike McCormick, Don Demeter, Carlie Neal and others.

“We are very pleased that channel 13 was chosen to bring Houstonians the only telecasts of their first major league baseball team in action,” Willard E. Walbridge, executive vice-president and general manager of KTRK-TV, said.

Co-sponsors of the telecasts will be Lucky Strike and Tareyton divisions of American Tobacco Co. and the brewers of Pearl Beer.

Houston Oiler football, bowling, wrestling, special basketball games, golf matches, including Houston’s champions cup matches, and the Houston Classic Invitational Tournament, tennis tournaments, track and swimming meets, automobile races, hockey, ice-skating, skiing and many other sports are seen on channel 13.

~ Victoria Advocate, April 15, 1962

____________________

Our ongoing thanks to Darrell Pittman for this latest news harvest on how television hooked up with the brand new Houston MLB club from its very first season forward – or, at least through the 1962 part of that start. Guy Savage was unforgettable. His deep resonant bass voice was the one that many of us shall forever associate with the television work he did for the 1949 Houston Buffs from Buff Stadium on the Gulf Freeway at Cullen Blvd. Televised baseball forever will become one of our earliest challenges to watching television in general. All we had to do in 1949 was get used to watching what one camera could cover of the field action from behind home plate for display on our dinky little 10-inch television screens at home. The broadcaster advantage was the fact that we had nothing to use for comparative criticism at home We were just slap-happy to get a picture that moved, even if we did feel the need to sit home in the dark, staring closely at the little screen for Guy Savage to tell us what happened after each play. Things were much better by 1962, when Houston entered the big leagues as the Colt .45s, but still a far cry from today’s multi-media, multiple camera, high-definition big screen coverage.

____________________


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas

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8 Responses to “Retro: Channel 13 will carry Colt Games in 1962”

  1. materene Says:

    Remember it well, this was big news then. Back in the day of no internet or cable TV, youth was all playing little league and of course football, Boy life was so much better then for all of us. Our world is moving so fast now we can’t even die normal but have to jump off the edge to exit. I am happy to still have a pretty good memory of people and events of the era and there were some really die hard Major League Colt 45 fans all spread out over Houston. There were caps and souvenirs handed out to the kids and it was just a moment in history that was grand for Houston.

  2. Emmett McAuliffe Says:

    Were they this pessimistic that Houston fans would tune in for just a set of strangers labeled “the home team”?…….

    . “On the telecasts, fans will be able to see such big league favorites as Don Drysdale, Wally Moon, Duke Snider, Frank Howard, Warren Spahn, Hank Aaron, Bob Friend, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Frank Robinson, Joey Jay, Don Hoad, Bil Virdon, Stan Musial, Ken Boyer, Lindy McDaniel, Willie Mays, Jim Davenport, Mike McCormick, Don Demeter, Carlie Neal and others.”

    “Don Demeter!? Hell yaas, I’m not missing that!” And those “others”!

    ps Didnt think Drysadale would be a star but Koufax not until I checked the stats. Koufax only had about 12 rWAR vs. 28 for Drysdale through 1961.

    • Bob Hulsey Says:

      You must remember, the closest Houston fans had to live in-person major league games prior to 1962 included travelling to St. Louis. As a Cardinals farm team, Houston fans had attachments to the Buff players who came through town.

      The 1962 Colts, while full of promise, were largely no-names and has-beens, but the chance to see Don Drysdale, Warren Spahn, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, etc. was more of a novelty back when the Yankees and the AL dominated national television.

  3. Emmett McAuliffe Says:

    Makes me think of how weak NL talent was around 1961-62.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      I’m with you, Emmett. – I don’t think I ever felt any compulsion to go to a Colt game for the sake of watching guys like Don Demeter, Don Hoad, or any of the other lessers of reference here. Stan Musial, of course, was a totally different story. Like most other Houstonians, I always wanted to see the Cardinals and “The Man,” but I never went to games to see the “other guys” do well against our early weak teams. Each home game trip for me flew in on the hope that maybe we can knock these guys off tonight. And, baseball being baseball, sometimes we did. And that felt pretty cool itself for quite a few early seasons. It also became a thrill that died with the arrival of our first serious run at a pennant. Once that happens, just beating the Cards or Dodgers once in a while was never again enough.

  4. gregclucas Says:

    Weak? Did you really read the list? Aaron, Musial, Mays, Banks, Spahn, Robinson, Boyer? Nine future HOFers on that list. Sure some others were only famed for being on World Series teams or for short periods, but at the time were well known players. The NL was by far the stronger of the two leagues in 1961-62 sans the Yankees. (By the way that was supposed to be Don Hoak and not Hoad!)

  5. Emmett McAuliffe Says:

    Greg… … Snider and Musial were in their penultimate seasons in ’62. (Gate attraction is not the same thing as “strong”). Howard and Robinson would soon be traded to the other league. I think the NL would become stronger very quickly, but in 61-62 it was not, if *this* is the list that they were touting. And of course you cant “sans the Yankees” if youre comparing league-to-league. ………..Agree to disagree. If I had time to look at the AL list heading into ’62, I might be persuaded. But I assume if they’re scooping down to Don Demeter and Bill Hoak, that I could come up with a dozen more impressive names than that from AL rosters.

    • Emmett McAuliffe Says:

      The AL was near the END of, but still IN a 15-year post war run of winning 10 of the 15 WS, a 15-year period that still included names like Dimaggio and Williams. It had the reputation of being the marquis league, I believe.

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