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
robneyer
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogCardinals Acquire John Lackey
(90 - 9:43pm, Jul 31)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogJULY 31 2014 OMNICHATTER/TRADE DEADLINE CHATTER
(340 - 9:41pm, Jul 31)
Last: HMS Moses Taylor

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3984 - 9:37pm, Jul 31)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogCliff Lee Re-Injures Elbow
(3 - 9:34pm, Jul 31)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogMinnesota Twins sign Kurt Suzuki to two-year contract extension
(5 - 9:32pm, Jul 31)
Last: madvillain

NewsblogMarlins acquire Jarred Cosart from Astros in six-player deal
(5 - 9:28pm, Jul 31)
Last: Sonic Youk

NewsblogTigers To Acquire David Price
(64 - 9:25pm, Jul 31)
Last: The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB)

NewsblogYankees land infielders Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at Deadline
(9 - 9:19pm, Jul 31)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogAthletics, Twins Swap Tommy Milone, Sam Fuld
(21 - 9:13pm, Jul 31)
Last: Squash

NewsblogBrewers acquire outfielder Gerardo Parra from D-backs
(4 - 9:12pm, Jul 31)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(551 - 9:00pm, Jul 31)
Last: The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB)

NewsblogJim Bowden Caught Stealing From Fake Twitter Account, Deletes Everything
(20 - 8:56pm, Jul 31)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogMariners acquire outfielder Chris Denorfia from Padres
(2 - 8:48pm, Jul 31)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogRuben Amaro Jr., on standing pat at deadline
(10 - 8:45pm, Jul 31)
Last: Textbook Editor

NewsblogHardball Talk: Calcaterra: Nationals-Orioles TV Money Dispute about to Explode
(25 - 8:17pm, Jul 31)
Last: McCoy

Page rendered in 0.0903 seconds
52 querie(s) executed