“Seeing Home” on Only A Game

I have to be at my office by 8 on some Saturday mornings. Those are Saturday mornings that might otherwise be filled with sleeping in and lazy breakfasts and reading the box score from Friday night where my team wins …

Orioles final


uva over miami

Look! Virginia beat #1 ranked Miami last night. How about that!

But, when I’m up and out early on Saturday, I get to listen to the sports program Only A Game on National Public Radio during my drive to the studio.

Almost every week I hear a story and think, “I really wish you could hear this.” And, by “you,” I really do mean you – whoever you are. I mean “you” … everybody.

Today’s show deserves your ears.

Ed Lucas has interviewed ballplayers since the 1950s.  And, as Only A Game explains: “Ed has been completely blind since October 3, 1951. He lost his sight after taking a line drive to the head on the same day his beloved New York Giants won the pennant.”

Ed Lucas and Willie Mays

Only A Game

Ed Lucas Interviewing Willie Mays in 1957.

“Friendships between writers and ballplayers aren’t common,” Only A Game notes, “but in baseball broadcaster Ed Lucas, players saw someone who had struggled as hard as they had — if not harder — to get to where he was.”

Ed Lucas’ story is a story of … how, as a small boy and newly blind, he met Yankee Phil Rizzuto, who took him under his wing … how Leo Durocher opened the Giants’ clubhouse doors to him, as a favor to Ed’s mom who thought a visit with baseball players would cheer him up … and of how his life blossomed despite blindness. It is a story of baseball and of family.  It is beautiful.

You can listen to, or download, the story here.

only a game


16 thoughts on ““Seeing Home” on Only A Game

  1. How cool… What a way to “see” a ball game thru your ears and not your eyes which can be deceiving at time. You hear the crowd, the crack of the ball, caught in the mitt, etc.
    Then to talk with the players and hear their emotions via the words. The different angle he brought to the game in the papers. Refreshing, at times I would think.

    • Beth, I agree! Baseball has so many dimensions and he is able to “see” it so differently and yet with the same detail as someone with sight. This story just moved me on so many levels this morning … I’m glad you enjoyed it, too!

  2. Loved reading about this. Here in the UK a whole radio movement grew out of football (soccer) game commentaries for blind people. Now hospitals up and down the country have their own radio stations, dedicated to the patients currently receiving care. Many a radio broadcaster (myself included) got their start on these homely stations that still provide a great service today.

    • Wow … hospital radio stations, what a wonderful concept! Thank you for sharing that! Baseball is so perfectly paced for radio … the lulls (that I love but that drive some fans mad) allow a good broadcaster the opportunity to chat and fill the air with life and color and magic.

  3. We’ve become so accustomed to watching games on tv that we’ve forgotten about the games we saw in our minds while listening to the radio. Wonderful story!

    • Every week … every single episode of Only A Game … offers at least one of those “driveway moments” where you don’t want to turn the program off even though you’ve arrived at your destination. You will love it Bruce and I’m so delighted that sharing the Ed Lucas piece introduced you to it. Yay!

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