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Ballplayer/Author Jim Brosnan to Call Games on ABC

Apr. 27, 1964 - Jim Brosnan, former major league pitcher, has struck it big. He wanted to write, but ABC will let him speak too — as a sports commentator.

Mr. Brosnan, the author of two books and many articles on baseball, recently gave up the game after the Chicago White Sox refused to let him publish his writings during the baseball season. Today, ABC said it had signed Mr. Brosnan to a long-term radio contract for weekend sports programs.

Effective May 9, the former relief pitcher will serve up five-minute programs at 9:25 and 10:25 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. He will discuss baseball and other sports. The programs will originate in Chicago.

While known as a moderately effective pitcher, Brosnan gained greater fame by becoming one of the first athletes to publish a candid personal diary. Previously, such books were “sanitized” for the general public and used ghostwriters. Instead, Brosnan’s book, “The Long Season,” a season which found him being traded from St. Louis to Cincinnati at approximately the halfway point of the 1959 baseball season, touched on the subjects of race relations, boredom, fatigue, and skirt-chasing by players, as well as the never-ending stress of trying to maintain a position on the big-league roster. Two years later, Brosnan again kept a diary, a fortuitous circumstance as the Reds would win the National League championship in 1961, before falling to the Yankees in the World Series. Brosnan’s second book was published under the appropriate title “Pennant Race.”

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