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

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
A triple short of the cycle
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Newsblog8-31-2015 OMNICHATTER
(219 - 3:12am, Sep 01)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogAlex Anthopoulos accuses infielder Steve Tolleson of quitting on team
(52 - 2:42am, Sep 01)
Last: baudib

NewsblogThe Indians want a new minority owner — but the price isn’t right | New York Post
(22 - 2:25am, Sep 01)
Last: cmd600

NewsblogTim Lincecum's hip recovery stalls, and he might have thrown his last pitch as a Giant: "The bad days are outshining the good ones" - Giants Extra
(20 - 2:15am, Sep 01)
Last: Squash

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - August 2015
(162 - 1:10am, Sep 01)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogProposing a Callup Rule Change
(60 - 1:06am, Sep 01)
Last: bobm

NewsblogFan dies in fall from upper deck at Turner Field | www.ajc.com
(147 - 12:35am, Sep 01)
Last: theboyqueen

NewsblogWhat’s wrong with the Nationals? It’s the starting pitching, stupid. - The Washington Post
(21 - 12:34am, Sep 01)
Last: Chris Fluit

NewsblogOT: Soccer August 2015
(603 - 12:21am, Sep 01)
Last: Howling John Shade

NewsblogOTP - August 2015: Meet the … Baseball Owner Funding the 2016 Campaign ...
(4817 - 12:21am, Sep 01)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

NewsblogBraves’ record, attendance both in decline since 42-42 | www.ajc.com
(5 - 10:23pm, Aug 31)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogJake Arrieta throws no-hitter against Dodgers | MLB.com
(50 - 9:43pm, Aug 31)
Last: theboyqueen

NewsblogAppellate court sides with MLB in minimum wage lawsuit
(1 - 8:57pm, Aug 31)
Last: theboyqueen

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-31-2015
(18 - 6:58pm, Aug 31)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogBlue Jays to name Mark Shapiro club president, replacing Beeston - CBSSports.com
(18 - 4:54pm, Aug 31)
Last: A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose)

Page rendered in 0.1597 seconds
44 querie(s) executed