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John Miley has compiled the most comprehensive audio account of baseball history in existence—a vast and wildly entertaining assemblage of game tapes from throughout the sport's lineage. His archive contains classic moments, like Bill Mazeroski's homer and the Shot Heard 'Round the World, and amazing feats, like Carl Hubbell striking out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin—in order—in the 1934 All-Star Game. Baseball Forever! brings you highlights from Miley's collection, with numerous clips available for the first time since their original transmission. Bestselling author Jason Turbow (The Baseball Codes) mines the archive with Miley himself, taking us to some of baseball's greatest settings—Yankee Stadium, Ebbets Field, Fenway Park—guided by the game's legendary broadcasters, like Mel Allen, Red Barber, Harry Caray and Vin Scully. Miley and Turbow have carefully selected an abundance of highlights for Baseball Forever! that is sure to inform, entertain and appeal to anybody nostalgic for baseball's storied history.
Q & A with John Miley
Q: What made you start recording the games?
A: I liked listening to ball games because the announcers were so exciting—at least I thought so. I thought if I liked listening to them, I might want to have them in my possession so that, when I retired in the future, I could have something to do in my spare time by reliving those great times in my youth. Little did I realize that the collection would become so large, I would never really have time to do that, and at this point retirement is out of the question.
Q: What is the earliest baseball broadcast in your collection?
A: 1933 World Series Game 5, highlights. The earliest complete game would be the 1934 All-Star game.
Q: What decade do you think is the most memorable from your collection?
A: For me, my most memorable decade is the 1940s, when I was between the ages of 10 and 20 years old.
Q: What made the 1940s the most memorable time to you?
A: In the '40s, I was in my beginning stages of adulthood and was very impressionable at that time. The superstars of the '40s such as Williams, Musial, and DiMaggio were, in my opinion, so much better than those that come along in future years. Also in the '40s, baseball was still a sport, not the business it is today.
Q: When did you personally record your first baseball game, and how?
A: In 1947 via wire recorder.
Q: What has been the most exciting thing for you collecting these games?
A: By far the rewards of collecting have to do with the number of people that I have pleased with the collection and those stories could go on and on. For instance, the tapes I shared with Jack Buck, Cardinals announcer, as just one example.
Q. What is one of your favorite highlights?
A. It is very difficult to name just one, but of the many it would be October 3, 1951 in game 3 of the playoffs between the Dodgers and the Giants; Bobby Thompson hits a game-winning homerun in the bottom half of the ninth-inning in a dramatic fashion and wins the pennant for the Dodgers.
Q: Have any of the players or announcers in your collection contacted you about your recordings?
A: I am friends with many announces and some players due to what I have taped. For instance Bob Costas is a close friend and has been since I called him in 1975 while he was working for KMOX in St. Louis.
Q: At what point did you know that your hobby had turned into a serious archive?
A: When the networks and documentary companies began to contact me for things they did not have.
Q: What different media outlets (networks) have relied on your collection to rebroadcast clips?
A: To my knowledge there are none that haven't. NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN are among those that have used my material.
1934: Carl Hubbel strikes out Ruth and four others
1936: Lou Gehrig’s World Series homer
1961: Roger Maris breaks Babe Ruth’s record
1961: Garbage rains down on Jimmy Piersall
1970: Pete Rose barrels over Ray Fosse in All-Star Game action