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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arch McDonald
McDonald at WJSV
Born(1901-05-23)May 23, 1901
DiedOctober 16, 1960(1960-10-16) (aged 59)
Resting placeSuitland, Maryland
OccupationSports announcer
SpouseCynthia Handley [1]
Children3 [2]
AwardsFord C. Frick Award (1999)
Sports commentary career
Team(s)Washington Senators (1934–38, 1940–56)
New York Yankees & New York Giants (1939)
SportMajor League Baseball

Arch Linn McDonald Sr. (May 23, 1901 – October 16, 1960) was an American radio sportscaster who served as the play-by-play voice of Major League Baseball's Washington Senators from 1934 to 1956, with the exception of 1939, when he broadcast the New York Yankees and New York Giants.

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McDonald was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee.[3] During the early 1930s, he broadcast for the Chattanooga Lookouts, a Minor League Baseball team. In 1932, he won a national contest sponsored by The Sporting News for "the most popular sports broadcaster", garnering 57,960 votes[4]—a remarkable achievement, considering that the Lookouts were a Class A team. Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith jumped McDonald straight to broadcasting for the major league team in 1934, and he immediately became a hit.

McDonald was one of the first to use "ducks on the pond" as a term for players on base,[5] and was notable for quoting an old country tune, "They Cut Down the Old Pine Tree", after a Senators win.[3] He also gave Joe DiMaggio the nickname "The Yankee Clipper".[5][6] McDonald was best known, however, for his studio re-creations of road games,[3] a common practice in the 1930s, when line charges were too expensive for live road coverage. The radio listeners would hear the click of a ticker tape machine, and the announcer would convey the play; "It's a long fly ball to deep center, going, going... gone. It's a home run." For many years, it was common for Senators fans to crowd around McDonald's studio at a drug store on G Street, near the White House, for his recreations.[3]

In 1939, McDonald became the first full-time voice of the Yankees and Giants,[3] working the second half of the season alongside a young Mel Allen.[7] In June that year, he helped broadcast activities at the opening of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, for CBS.[8] However, his homespun style didn't play well in New York, and he was back in Washington for the 1940 season.

For the most part, McDonald called losing baseball; the Senators only finished higher than fifth four times during his tenure. Despite the team's losing efforts, McDonald was again named outstanding baseball broadcaster in 1942[9] and 1945.[3] During the 1940s, he began calling Washington Redskins and college football games. McDonald was forced off Senators broadcasts by a sponsor change following their 1956 season,[5] but remained behind the microphone for the Redskins.

Personal life

McDonald was the Democratic candidate for Maryland's 6th congressional district in the 1946 House of Representatives election,[3] losing to incumbent James Glenn Beall, 58.1% to 41.9%.

McDonald died in 1960, of a heart attack at age 59, while returning to Washington, D.C., via train from a Redskins game in New York City.[5][10] He was buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland.[3] In 1999, McDonald was posthumously honored with the Ford C. Frick Award, given annually to one baseball broadcaster.[11]


  1. ^ "McDonald-Handley," Nashville Banner, December 5, 1923, p. 12.
  2. ^ "Arch McDonald Dies of Heart Attack Sunday," (Frederick, Maryland) The News, October 18, 1960, p. 6.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Corbett, Warren. "Arch McDonald". SABR. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  4. ^ "Arch McDonald Wins Radio Sports Contest". The Chattanooga News. September 21, 1932. p. 12. Retrieved October 24, 2019 – via
  5. ^ a b c d "1999 Ford C. Frick Award Winner Arch Mcdonald". Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  6. ^ Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life, Richard Ben Cramer, p. 152.
  7. ^ Brezinski, Robert (May 24, 2019). "New York Yankees: The Circumstances that Landed Mel Allen in the Bronx". Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  8. ^ "Early Forms of Baseball to Be on Air". South Bend Tribune. South Bend, Indiana. June 11, 1939. p. 25. Retrieved October 24, 2019 – via
  9. ^ "Wins Trophy". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. September 30, 1942. p. 18. Retrieved October 24, 2019 – via
  10. ^ "Speaker here dies". The Gettysburg Times. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. October 18, 1960. p. 2. Retrieved October 23, 2019 – via
  11. ^ "'Right down Broadway' for broadcaster McDonald". The Tennessean. Nashville, Tennessee. February 6, 1999. p. 2C. Retrieved October 23, 2019 – via

External links

  • Arch McDonald Ford C. Frick Award biography at the National Baseball Hall of Fame
This page was last edited on 26 July 2023, at 05:58
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