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Recreation

From BR Bullpen

Recreation was a popular broadcasting technique in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Using a radio-show sound effects and a teletype machine, the broadcaster would use use the information on the tape from the game in a far off city to recreate what was happening.

If the tape read "Gehrig grounds to third." The announcer would use his scorecard and might report, "Gehrig at the plate, he swings, hits a sharp grounder, it's scooped up by Owen, and the Yankees are retired." An announcer doing a recreation might strike a woodblock when a batter hit the ball, play recorded fan noise to suit the occasion or even crinkle the cellophane from a cigarette wrapper to simulate a rain delay (or in an emergency when the teletype machine broke down). The movie Bull Durham shows the team's announcer doing this for Bulls road games.

Arch McDonald, Rosey Rowswell, and Bob Prince were experts in recreation. McDonald used to sit in a store front in his undershorts on especially sultry Washington afternoons recreating the game for fans. Ronald Reagan also did recreation during his stint as a baseball announcer in the mid-1930s.