Sunday, April 24, 2016

OTR Baseball Episode 7: Damon Runyon Theater's Baseball Hattie

For this episode of my Old Time Radio and baseball series, I thought I would feature a radio adaptation of a great Damon Runyon story.  Today's offering is Baseball Hattie from the great series  Damon Runyon Theater.  This first broadcast on June 26, 1949 as far as we can tell.   It was broadcast over many different stations, but not as a network program.   Mayfair Transcription Company was run by movie star Alan Ladd, who's Box 13 is one of my favorite series.

Somerset Patriots 3, Sugar Land Skeeters 1 (Bridgewater Township (Somerset County), New Jersey - Saturday August 9, 2014)

Somerset Patriots 3, Sugar Land Skeeters 1 - Atlantic League Baseball

(Bridgewater Township (Somerset County), New Jersey - Saturday August 9, 2014)

The Damon Runyon Theater is a great series and takes you right into the world of Damon Runyon. Damon Runyon captures a romanticized version the charming lives of New York's gamblers and other rougher characters like Harry The Horse and Broadway. The show starred John Brown as Broadway, who serves as the central figure and narrator of the stories. If you like Guys and Dolls, you will love these great dramatizations for radio.

Baseball Hattie is the story about the Polo Grounds and the New York Giants of old.  Baseball Hattie is a huge fan and was a regular at all the Giants home games at the Polo Grounds and quite a few on the road.  She might have been the inspiration for Bull Durham's Annie Savoy (played by Susan Sarandon).  Hattie was in fact on the road in Philadelphia when the crowds were furious at the Giants after a game won by the New Yorkers.  Hattie rescued their great young pitcher Haystack Duggeler from the crowds.  Haystack was a left-hander who was leading the Giants in just about every category.  He might have been the best left-hander anyone had seen.  His name came from where he was discovered - pitching in Missouri.

What starts as a rescue from the crowds in Philly turns into a romance and then a marriage.  And what could be better for Hattie?  What could go wrong?  Give you a hint - it's gambling.  And while the story does not have the ending that you expect, it is one years and years in the making.  These are fun stories to hear and certainly take you back in more ways than one. I hope you enjoy this treat from Damon Runyon.

Baseball Hattie (June 26, 1949)

Old Time Radio Baseball Series and Other Links

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