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Welcome, I’m glad you joined me. This Celery City Story is the first one I wrote when I thought I might want to start a podcast.
Whenever significant changes in history take place, there are a series of events - both big and small - that have to occur before the transformation can happen.
This is a story about a small event that was part of a monumental change
An editor’s note:
In the story you just heard, I’ve added some brief dialogue. Those quotes were created for dramatic purposes. I have no way of knowing EXACTLY what was said.
However, the story is factual and it did happen. I used a number of resources, most notably, Jimmy Breslin’s biography of Branch Rickey, who was Red Barber’s boss, and the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. I also used a new biography on Red Barber by Judith R. Hiltner and James R. Walker.
Also, there’s a good documentary about legendary radio broadcasters that Larry King did in 1989 called, “Ball Talk: Baseball’s Voices of Summer.” In that documentary, there is a clip of Red Barber talking about the day his boss, Branch Rickey, told him he planned to integrate baseball. Red shares his reaction to the news, and tells a brief story about his conversation with his wife Lylah.