What Did Walter Johnson’s Voice Sound Like? Listen To This 1939 Senators Broadcast.
It’s been extremely difficult for me to track down any audio recording of the greatest pitcher of all time, Walter Johnson. We have written so much about him, and yet, we have no idea what is voice sounded like … that is, until now. Thanks to the magic of the Internet Archive — one of the greatest resources known to man — we were able to surface this audio recording from 1939.
On Thursday, September 21st, 1939, the D.C. radio station WJSV recorded the full broadcast for the day. Between 4pm and 5:17 pm, they broadcast the Washington Senators home game against the Cleveland Indians. To give you some context, that month was the beginning of World War II, with Germany invading Poland on the 1st.
The game picks up in the middle of the fourth inning with the Senators coming up to bat. Johnson’s voice can be heard starting around 1:36, and I can say, it’s not what I expected it to be.
How cool is this? Only 5,000 people were in attendance and the Senators lost to the Indians 6 to 3. Below is the box score and recap from The Washington Post the following day.