Saturday, March 26, 2016

OTR Baseball Episode 3: Baseball and Gambling from Boston Blackie

For my next installment of baseball on Old Time Radio, I head to Boston.  Not necessarily the city, but the person.  One of my favorite Old Time Radio series is Boston Blackie.  These crime stories always leave the police, especially Police Inspector Farraday, frustrated and befuddled.  But to the rescue is Boston Blackie - who always solves the crime and saves the day.  Each of episodes starts the same way - with this phrase that says everything you need to know about Boston Blackie:

"Enemy of those who make him an enemy,
 friend to those who have no friend."

Boston Blackie moves effortlessly on both sides of the law, but in the context of this radio show, is only interested in doing what is right.  The character was created by author Jack Boyle, Boston Blackie was a safecracker who served time in prison before turning his attention to making things right.  The most well known episodes were syndicated by Frederic W. Ziv to Mutual and other networks after World War II.  Staring in the role as Boston Blackie was Richard Kollmar.  Mary Wesley (his constant companion) was played by Jan Miner.  Maurice Tarplin plays Police Inspector Farraday, who starts off most episodes with the belief that no matter what the crime was, Blackie was involved.  Tarplin is also know as the voice of the Mysterious Traveler and The Strange Dr. Weird.  

San Francisco Giants 1, Philadelphia Phillies (San Francisco, California - Wednesday April 18, 2012)

San Francisco Giants 1, Philadelphia Phillies 

(San Francisco, California - Wednesday April 18, 2012)

There are two baseball themed episodes from Boston Blackie.  For this installment, we are going to feature the episode called Baseball and Gambling from April 29, 1947.

When you're in debt to the tune of $50,000 to a gambler by the name of Carter, you have problems.  But when you have baseball-playing brother who is the hottest hitter in the game - you might have a way out.  Sounds like the fix is on - or is it?  The brother of "Slamming" Sammy Saunders is just in this pickle.  He owes $50,000 to Carter having lost it all playing roulette.  However, Carter is willing to tear up the IOUs if he would introduce the baseball star to a "certain young lady."  Is it too good to be true?  Probably.

Right after this strange encounter, Joe Ash, another person who is mixed up with gamblers, is visited by Carter.  Joe Ash was typing a letter to Boston Blackie seeking help.  Carter shoots Joe - but with the letter written to Blackie still visible in the typewriter ribbon - suspicions run crazy in Inspector Farraday's mind that Boston Blackie was behind this.

This "certain young lady" turns out Catherine Gray, a friend of Carter.  While Boston Blackie immediately things that she will try to get Sammy Saunders to throw some games, but this is not the case as he continues to hit up a storm after they met.  If they do not want Sammy to throw the game, is there something else that is happening on the diamond?

Listen for the cameo appearance by sportscaster Bill Slater as...wait for it...the sportscaster.  Hope you enjoy this episode.  I am going to mix in more crime stories for sure, but am prepping some historical pieces as well as the comedies.  Enjoy!

Baseball and Gambling (April 27, 1947) 

Here are some links to programs relating to Old Time Radio and Boston Blackie:
Old Time Radio Baseball Series and Other Links

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