The young man bid his mother farewell. It was his first day on the job, and he had a train to catch.
He was 10 months out of college, still living with his parents. The train carried him from New York to Philadelphia, and a taxi delivered him to Shibe Park.
It was opening day, the third Tuesday of April, in 1950. In Washington, President Truman threw out the first pitch. In New York, outfielder Sam Jethroe became the first African American to play for the Boston Braves. In St. Louis, catcher Joe Garagiola participated in the first night opener in major league history.
In Philadelphia, the young man with the red hair and the golden voice waited nervously. He was 22, the...