Joe Garagiola began his broadcast career in St. Louis after a nine year run as a major league baseball catcher.
A native of The Hill neighborhood in St. Louis, Garagiola signed on to do color for Cardinals’ radio broadcasts.
He said he had prepared for the job by practicing play-by-play announcing and accepting every speaking request he got. “I went to more meetings in Protestant churches and Jewish temples than any Catholic in history.”
His five years on the air on KMOX and doing Cardinals’ booth work began in the 1955 season. He also handled reports from Spring Training in Florida, but NBC made an offer he couldn’t refuse and he was doing the network’s Game of the Week in 1961. He spent over 40 years in various capacities at NBC in radio and television.
Joe Garagiola is a broadcast member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.