So now that Black Friday is behind us, and you have a brand new flat-screen television at home and just a few bruises on your arms, I figured I'd share with you one gift idea for Orioles fans -- especially the older ones -- that's a little easier to get.
I usually stay away from stumping products, but Pat Hughes, the Chicago Cubs' radio play-by-play announcer, sent me something this past week that is worth passing on. I think it's almost a disservice to not let you know that it exists.
Hughes has put together individual CDs capturing the greatest audio highlights from some of the most influential baseball broadcasters of all-time. He calls it, "Baseball Voices, Hall of Fame Series." He has created CDs for legends such as Harry Caray, Mel Allen and Harry Kalas.
His most recent one is "Chuck Thompson, Voice of the Orioles." It's a 58-minute, 18-track CD that goes for $14.95 with free shipping.
Hughes pieces together some of the more memorable calls of Thompson's career -- Frank Robinson's homer against Don Drysdale in Game 1 of the 1966 World Series, Jim Palmer's no-hitter in 1969, Brooks Robinson's heroics in the 1970 World Series, the last day at Memorial Stadium -- as well as some biographical information on Thompson and some old interviews with the Hall of Famer, who passed away in 2005.
My favorite clip is from before Game 2 of the 1966 World Series. Thompson talks about the "seemingly invincible" Sandy Koufax starting that day against 20-year-old Palmer -- both men, of course, would end up in the Hall of Fame. Here's how Thompson broke it down.
"I would not begin to compare Palmer and Koufax. The only information we can give you on Jim Palmer is this: That if this young man this afternoon is able to throw strikes, we are in for one of the most interesting pitching battles in recent Series history. There can be no doubt about the fact that Jim Palmer is the hardest throwing pitcher on the Oriole staff. He has a fine fastball, a good curveball and if he does get in trouble, it is always the same thing: control."
Palmer outdueled Koufax, throwing a four-hit shutout in the Orioles' 3-0 victory.
Hughes includes several of these nuggets, along with a few Baltimore Colts calls and a snippet of Thompson's Hall of Fame speech. And, yeah, we get to hear, "Ain't The Beer Cold," a couple times.
I love that kind of stuff -- always a Baltimoron at heart -- so I ate this CD up. If you want more information, to order it, etc., go to Hughes' web site.