My Idols

As a farm lad in the early 1930’s I fell in love with baseball. I was always pitching and catching with my brother and others.

There were no major league teams nearby, so I would read about teams and their standings and would of course form favorites. I believe there were 12 teams, all in the Northeast and North Central. Today there are 30 teams.

In 1932 a strong megawatt station in St. Louis started airing all Cardinal games throughout the South. That did it. I became an avid Cardinal fan. I knew the batting average of every batter and would pull for Dizzy Dean and Brother Paul. They were my idols.

After school and hopefully avoiding work, I hovered around our one radio to listen. About the only time this was impossible was Saturday afternoons. My four sisters (the oldest had gone off to college) demanded air time.

They listened to the music of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller from Frank Daley’s Meadow Brook in Caldwell, New Jersey, and then from Glen Island in New Rochelle, New York. The music was that of Glen Gray and his Casaloma Orchestra.

The Cardinals or Red Birds, also called the “Gas House Gang” won the National League pennant in 1934. My idols became World Champions by beating the Detroit Tigers in a wild 7 game series.

As I grew older and started participating in group sports my idolization dimmed, but was still alit. Years later, in 1950 I landed up in a corporate office in mid-Manhattan. I’m all excited because now I can see my first major league game.

Shortly I learned that the Cardinals were playing the Dodgers in Brooklyn. I played hooky and took the 5 cent subway ride to see my idols. The great Stan Musial hit 3 home runs and two doubles in a smashing win for the Red Birds.

I have never been happier in my life.

David T. Daniels
Southbury, CT © October 2012

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