For hundreds of thousands of fans throughout the eastern half of the country, listening on more than 100 radio stations, the voice of the Dodgers was Nat Allbright. He announced more than 1,500 games for the Dodgers, and all that time, he never saw a game he was broadcasting.
Mr. Allbright, who died July 18 of pneumonia at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington County, was one of baseball’s finest practitioners — and perhaps its last — of the forgotten art of game re-creation. He was 87.
During the 12 years that he broadcast Dodger games, he visited Brooklyn only once. Listeners to the far-flung Dodger radio network thought Mr. Allbright was sitting in the press box at Ebbets Field and other big league stadiums, but he was actually at a studio in Washington.
He received sketchy summaries of the game — whether a pitch was a ball or strike, where a batted ball landed — from telegrams or wire service reports. But everything else that brought baseball to life — from crowd noises to vendors hawking their wares to the crack of the bat — was improvised by Mr. Allbright.
He had recordings of crowds in various states of excitement and used a click of his tongue to mimic the sound of the bat striking a ball. Each time a player tugged at his cap or a manager shouted at an umpire, the drama was supplied by Mr. Allbright.
He was, in the words of former Washington Post sports columnist Bob Addie, “king of the baseball re-creators.”
Monday, August 8, 2011
RIP: Nat Allbright, Radio Play-By-Play Recreator
From Matt Schudel, The Washington Post
Posted by Tom Benson at 12:01 AM