Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Betty Caywood and Mary Shane: Baseball’s First Female Announcers

Of all the dramatic things I’ve ever seen heard!

Last night, as often happens when I’m trying to put myself to sleep, I ended up in a deep Wikipedia hole, landing on the page of Suzyn Waldman, the Yankees’ radio broadcaster I listen to sometimes on my tour through MLB radio stations. She’s divisive, but I like her and her Boston accent (which doesn’t help the divisiveness), distinctive in a world of broadcasterly plains. I’d always assumed she was the first female baseball announcer, but it turns out that’s not quite true. She was preceded by two women in the 1960s—hired, naturally, by Charlie Finley and Bill Veeck.

The first was Betty Caywood, a Kansas City native, a former professional dancer and “midwest fashion coordinator for leading dress manufacturers” with a master’s in speech pathology from Northwestern. In the mid-60s, Caywood was the “weather girl” (she was 31, but, you know) for channel 7 in Chicago, when the Trib captured her in the language of the time:

Betty likes to wear slacks, dislikes heavy makeup; she loves to cook gourmet meals, hates to go to bed early. She’s a natural mimic, unconsciously slips into a soft southern drawl even on TV. Her blue-green eyes sparkle when she talks, which is most of the time.

By way of statistics for the men, Betty is a perfect size 10, wishes she had a true model’s figure, but complains she’s “a bit hippy.” Maybe, but she looks well in slacks, the ultimate test.

Finley, the flamboyant owner of the atrocious Kansas City Athletics, hired Caywood as one of his stunts. She was entirely ignorant of the sport—including that the Yankees’ number seven was Mickey Mantle—but Finley offered her a ton of money to do color, along with relocation expenses, so she took the job.

Repoz Posted: September 26, 2012 at 04:44 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: announcers, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Greg K Posted: September 26, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4246569)
Cassie Campbell has handled herself fine on Hockey Night in Canada (as far as I recall). Without looking into it I'd guess she's one of the few women who has a broadcasting job for a major sports program primarily by virtue of her talent in that sport.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'.
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogRyan Thibs has his HOF Ballot Tracker Up and Running!
(391 - 1:32pm, Dec 13)
Last: Downing Almost Deserves It

NewsblogIf Kyle Schwarber goes anywhere could it be back to Cubs leadoff spot? – Chicago Sun-Times
(17 - 1:30pm, Dec 13)
Last: catomi01

NewsblogOTP 11 December, 2017 - GOP strategist: Moore would have 'date with a baseball bat' if he tried dating teens where I grew up
(1225 - 1:30pm, Dec 13)
Last: Traderdave

NewsblogJack Morris, Alan Trammell elected to Hall | MLB.com
(202 - 1:28pm, Dec 13)
Last: Rally

Gonfalon CubsLooking to next year
(332 - 1:23pm, Dec 13)
Last: Zonk Tormundbane

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(343 - 1:22pm, Dec 13)
Last: Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB)

NewsblogUCL of Los Angeles Angels' Ohtani is damaged, according to physical
(15 - 1:20pm, Dec 13)
Last: Traderdave

Hall of Merit2018 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(361 - 1:11pm, Dec 13)
Last: Kiko Sakata

NewsblogOT - NBA 2017-2018 Tip-off Thread
(1951 - 1:08pm, Dec 13)
Last: Fourth True Outcome

Sox TherapyA Container of Milk, A Loaf of Bread and a Dude Who Can Hit Home Runs
(17 - 1:06pm, Dec 13)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogMLB ump Dale Scott retires rather than risk more concussions
(9 - 12:54pm, Dec 13)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

Primate StudiesLoser Scores 2017
(1 - 12:38pm, Dec 13)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogYankees trade Chase Headley, Bryan Mitchell | MLB.com
(48 - 12:26pm, Dec 13)
Last: Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew

NewsblogEric Hosmer will get paid even though the numbers may argue against it
(14 - 12:02pm, Dec 13)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogShohei Ohtani’s Value Has No Precedent | FiveThirtyEight
(43 - 10:30am, Dec 13)
Last: Nasty Nate

Page rendered in 0.2330 seconds
47 querie(s) executed