Two years ago, Robert Joseph DeLaney, who was radio announcer for the Boston Braves and Boston Red Sox a half-century ago, wrote a memoir to pass on to his family.
"I was as
green as green but I got by for three seasons [1951-53 as Red Sox broadcaster
with Curt Gowdy], sweating out a contract renewal
Mr. DeLaney's stay
in Boston was brief, but he returned in 1960 to introduce Senator John
F. Kennedy at an election eve rally at Faneuil
"My dad remained a loyal Red Sox fan throughout his life, as well as a lover of people. He was one of a kind, a master teaser and needler who was witness to some great moments in sports and American history," said his son, Bob (Robert Michael) of Tucson.
"I remember as a young boy of 7 when he took me to the last game the New York Giants played in the Polo Grounds before they moved to San Francisco," he said. "It was also the last game that he was a Giants broadcaster."
Mr. DeLaney, a resident of Queens, N.Y., who fell in love with baseball while growing up in Elmira, N.Y., died Nov. 25 at St. John's Queens Hospital in Queens from complications of a stroke. He was 84.
A 1942 graduate
of Elmira Free Academy, Mr. DeLaney served with the Army in the Pacific
during World War II. Later, he attended Syracuse
with baseball began in 1932 when my older brothers took me to Dunn Field
where the Elmira Red Wings, a St. Louis Cardinals
"Then the Sox and Braves started full time coverage of their games - home and away [on WHDH radio]. Curt Gowdy came up from New York, and I was hired to assist him. In 1954, because I read commercials well, a guy from a New York ad agency took a liking to me, and I was hired to replace Ernie Harwell with the Giants broadcasting team."
His first season
at the microphone in New York, the Giants won the National League pennant
and defeated the Cleveland Indians in a World
"I was in
the big time," Mr. DeLaney recalled, "but four years later,
the Giants left New York, and I was never asked to leave my heart in
Shortly thereafter, Mr. DeLaney was signed by the Atlantic Refining Company to do live commercials on Yankee games carried on the Home of Champions Network. His decade-long stint included the great Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris years.
His campaign position with Kennedy was due in part to his baseball background.
1959, I was playing golf when a caddie came out to the 5th fairway, to
tell me that I had an important call from my agent
"I had submitted a tape made at Yankee Stadium ... With the crowd cheering, I was going on about the "next president of the United States, Senator John F. Kennedy," and I have always felt that people thought I hired a crowd to get the job. By Labor Day, I was in Detroit to begin the odyssey.
Day parade was the kick-off point. From there, a flight to Pocatello,
Idaho, and on to Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington and
Mr. DeLaney's voice became a familiar one on political commercials, a job that required frequent trips between Washington, D.C., and New York City.
He remembered flying on the presidential plane, the Caroline, that was fitted out "like a living room," and meeting individuals close to Kennedy, including special assistant and campaign manager Kenneth O'Donnell, and campaign backer and Democratic National Committee chairman John Bailey of Connecticut.
After the election, Mr. DeLaney was a television sports host on two New York City stations from 1962 to '68, and a radio broadcaster of the Ivy League Football Game of the Week from 1964 to '68.
He also was a disc jockey at station WFAS in Hartsdale, N.Y., and a freelance commercial voice-over artist.
until his early 70s," said his son, "and I think the 'Ford has
a Better Idea' commercial he narrated put his kids through