Walter Lanier Barber was born February 17, 1908 in Columbus, Mississippi.
After reading a scholarly paper over a campus radio station at the
University of Florida, Barber decided that he liked working in front
of a microphone so he dropped out of school and became an announcer.
Four years later he was asked by Powel Crosley, Jr., owner of the
Cincinnati Reds, to broadcast the teams games. On opening
day in 1934, the 26-year-old redhead broadcast the first major league
game he had ever seen.
From 1939 through 1953 Barber served as the voice of the Brooklyn
Dodgers. He was working for the New York Yankees when he retired
in 1966. Barber had the distinction of broadcasting baseballs
first night game on May 24, 1935 in Cincinnati and the sports
first televised contest on August 26, 1939 in Brooklyn.
During his 33-year career Barber became the recognized master of
baseball play-by-play, impressing listeners as a down-to-earth man
who not only informed but also entertained with folksy colloquialisms
such as in the catbird seat, pea patch,
and rhubarb which gave his broadcasts a distinctive
Red Barber died October 22, 1992.
Red Barber was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.
of the images on this page is strictly prohibited.