Phillies Top 20 of All-Time (11-15)

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Byrum ‘By’ Saam, Phillies radio/TV broadcaster in the mid-20th century

15. BY SAAM, TV/radio announcer

Byrum Saam was born in Forth Worth, Texas and began to get involved in radio broadcasts of sporting events while in high school and then in college at Texas Christian.

He was eventually hired in 1938 by Connie Mack to become the radio voice of the Philadelphia Athletics. The following year, the Phillies hired him to do the same. 

Since both clubs played their home games at Baker Bowl and road games weren’t broadcast, he continued the double-duty for over a decade. Once road games were instituted, he left for strictly calling A’s games, but returned to the Phillies in 1955 after the A’s moved to Kansas City.

From that point until 1975, Saam broadcast radio and ultimately TV games with the Phils. For nearly four decades, it was Saam’s voice that Philadelphia baseball fans heard when they turned on their radios with his tag line that the game was “rolling along“, and most of that rolling was with the Phillies.

Known for his easy-going, down-home style in his slight Texas drawl, fans loved his steady game-calling even during lengthy losing stretches. His last partners in the booth, Richie Ashburn and Harry Kalas, invited Saam back to work with them in the 1976 division-clinching game and the NLCS.

Aside from this, calling the 1964 ‘Perfect Game’ by Jim Bunning was his main career highlight. Saam was awarded the Ford Frick Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990. For two generations of Phillies fans in the middle of the 20th century, By Saam and the Phillies were one and the same.

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