NPR's Lost and Found Sound ran a story about 8-year-old John Cuneo. In 1960, he used a transistor radio to secretly listen to a pivitol world series game.
The story, The Transistor on the School Bus, moved listeners to send in a variety of responses:
Recalling a Memory
Your recent story struck a memory nerve as vivid as any I can recall. I too was 8 years old in the fall of 1960, growing up in Pittsburgh, surreptitiously listening to the World Series on my new Japanese wonder-an AM radio with that tiny little earpiece cleverly concealed up my shirt sleeve. When Bill Mazaeroski, known fondly as: "MAZ" to locals dramatically ended the series and beat the hated Yankees I too was catapulted into a fit of euphoria.
Thanks for taking me back to my youth and reliving such a memorable event. I have not listened to nor watched a baseball game since that day in 1960, but will always remember the Pirate roster, full of true gentleman, people like Roberto " The Great One" Clemente, Smoky Burgess, Dick Groat, Bill Verdon and our star relief pitcher, Elroy Face who threw the unique and un-copied "fork ball".
How I wish baseball could turn back the clock of time, like your show did, back to a time of honesty, innocence and sportsmanship!
Thanks for the memory revival.
Back to My School Years
Dear All Things Considered:
These segments are enjoyable not just for the content, but for the eras they represent. In particular, hearing the segment about hearing the World Series on the school bus and the portrait of Detroit Top 40 powerhouse CKLW were especially memorable to me in this regard. They took me back to my grade school and high school years, respectively. I'm sure that hearing the topics of any segment in this series takes many listeners back to their pre-adult years.
Regardless of how difficult it may have been for us then, what we're faced with in childhood is far less difficult than what we're faced with as adults. If nothing else, they bring back the memories of those carefree days. I'm sure many ATC listeners would join me in saying "Thanks for the memories!"
~Stephen V. Gilmore
Listening from Cuba
Listening to Jonathan Cuneo tale's of the 7th game of the 1960 World Series brought back memories of an almost identical incident: different place, same source, same game.
I was 18 years old, in the Navy, and stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. At the time I was part of a base defense team called NEGDF, Naval Emergency Ground Defense Forces. That day we were scheduled for BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) practice. Being a New Yorker and a baseball fan, though not really a Yankee fan, I brought my Zenith transistor radio to the BAR range. In between firing rounds I would get as far back from the range as I could and press the transistor to my ear to hear the play by play, which I would then relate to those around me. It was very hard to hear as the signal was weak and there was the constant noise of BAR's being fired.
At one point I remember crawling under a bench to try and drown out the noise. When Mazerowski hit the home run to win the game there was a mixture of disappointment, astonishment and joy. They actually stopped the firing for a moment to find out what my friends and I were jumping up and down about. I was glad that the Pirates had won as my grandfather was a big Pirates fan and finally had something to celebrate.
The transistor-radio story brought back an equally sharp memory. After suffering through the 1950s as a Pirate fan, I was doing graduate work in Reykjavik, Iceland, listening to the Series on Armed Forces Radio. When Mazerowski hit it out, I ran out of my rooming house, shouting exultantly, looking for someone who would understand how cosmic this achievement was.
I tried the Israeli exchange student, who'd spent his first eight years in Brooklyn. When I blurted out the glad news, he asked: "The Pirates— let's see, are they from Boston?"
Another 'Illegal' Listener
The Friday afternoon (October 22) commentary about transistor radios and the 1960 World Series brought back memories. At the time the narrator was on the school bus in New York, I was in 8th grade gym class in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida listening with my friends to the game on an "illegal" transistor radio. I felt the same sense of disbelief when Mazerowski hit the home run to win the Series for Pittsburgh. Thank you, it brought back youthful memories.
Chills for a Pittsburgher
I had the pleasure of being captivated by the Lost & Found Sound segment this Friday evening after leaving my office located in downtown Pittsburgh.
As a lifelong resident of Western Pennsylvania, I have heard countless stories about the Bill Mazerowski home run in the 1960 World Series. Having been born just a few months after this event, however, meant that I was not around to actually witness or be a part of such a special moment in our city's sports history.
However, Jonathan Cuneo's piece about his experience listening to this exciting game on his transistor radio made me feel like I was actually at the ballpark that day. I turned up the volume on my car radio as I listened to the announcers give their play-by-play account, and the crowd noise was deafening; it gave me chills.
Thanks Mr. Cuneo and NPR for such a great story.