Career highlights and signature phrases

Career highlights

  • 1939: At 18, Thompson breaks into broadcasting by calling games of Albright College for WRAW in Reading, Pa.

  • 1946: Calls first major league baseball game in Philadelphia.

  • 1948: Hired in Baltimore to do play-by-play for International League Orioles and All-America Football Conference Colts.

  • 1955: Becomes announcer for major league Orioles.

  • 1957: Because of dispute between National Brewing and Gunther Brewing (he worked for the latter), shifts to play-by-play for Washington Senators.

  • 1962: Returns as Orioles announcer.

  • 1987: After season, retires as Orioles voice.

  • 1991: Returns to Orioles broadcasts on part-time basis.

  • 1993: Receives National Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award.

  • 2000: Problems with his eyesight end play-by-play career.
    Signature phrases

    In his autobiography, Ain't the Beer Cold!, Chuck Thompson explained how he came to use (and stop) his two signature phrases:

  • Ain't the beer cold!: "I got that phrase from Bob Robertson, a spotter who worked with me on Baltimore Colts football games [that were sponsored by the makers of National Beer]. ... Eventually I received lots of mail from people ... [who] felt they shouldn't have to put up with my ad libs about beer with all the beer advertisements they were already exposed to, and I thought they had a legitimate beef. So, I stopped using the line sometime in the 1970s."

  • Go to war, Miss Agnes!: "That was something I picked up from Bob Sharman, a golfing friend and neighbor. When his putting didn't improve after he read a book on the subject, Bob would grumble, "Go to war, Miss Agnes," after missing a putt. I phased that expression out of my play-by-play lexicon as the Vietnam War dragged on."

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