Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Chuck Thompson (June 10, 1921 – March 6, 2005) was an American sportscaster best known for his broadcasts of Major League Baseball's Baltimore Orioles. He was well-recognized for his resonant voice and signature on-air exclamations "Ain't the beer cold!" and "Go to war, Miss Agnes!"
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Thompson began his broadcasting career with the Philadelphia Athletics and Phillies in 1947. In 1949 he was hired by the Orioles of the minor International League; when the former St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and were rechristened as the major-league Orioles in 1954, Thompson called play-by-play for them until 1958, moved to the Washington Senators in 1960, and returned to Baltimore in 1962.
Thompson broadcast regularly on Orioles radio until 1983, then switched to television and occasional radio broadcasts. In addition to his baseball work, he called games for the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League from the 1950s to their departure for Indianapolis in 1984.
In addition to being an Orioles broadcasting institution, Thompson is also remembered for this flawed but endearing radio call of the sudden-victory finish to the 1960 World Series, for which he was a "guest" play-by-play announcer. This event was replayed in full on an MLB radio special some years ago, during one of the players' strikes. The pitcher was actually Ralph Terry. Art Ditmar was warming in the 'pen, and besides that error, Chuck just kind of got caught up in the moment:
- "Well, a little while ago, when we said that this one, uh, in typical fashion, was going right down to the wire, little did we know! ... Art Ditmar throws ... There's a swing and a high fly ball going deep to left, this may do it! ... Back to the wall goes Berra, it is ... over the fence, home run, the Pirates win! ... (long pause for crowd noise) ... Ladies and gentleman, Bill Mazeroski has just hit a one-nothing pitch over the left field wall to win the 1960 World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of ten to nothing! ... Once again, that final score, the World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates TEN, and the New York Yankees NINE!"
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