One Year

Season 1: Episode 3

Mary Shane’s Rookie Season

The little-known story of the first woman hired as a legitimate major-league baseball announcer.

Illustration depicting a female with a microphone

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Episode Notes

Mary Shane made history with the Chicago White Sox, becoming the first woman hired as a legitimate major-league baseball announcer. But in 1977, she had to fight to be taken seriously in one of America’s most sexist industries.

One Year is produced by Josh Levin, Evan Chung, and Madeline Ducharme. Mixing by Merritt Jacob.

Sources for This Episode

Books

Helpingstine, Dan. South Side Hitmen: The Story of the 1977 Chicago White Sox, Arcadia Publishing, 2006.

Shane, Mary. Unpublished manuscript, 1981.

Articles

Ashburn, Rich. “Beauty in the Booth,” Baseball Bulletin, March 1977.

Bordman, Sid. “Equal Rights or Earned Runs, It’s Still E.R.A. to Her,” Kansas City Star, April 1, 1977.

Burke, Bill. “Bill Veeck the Innovator: Now It’s a Woman Broadcaster,” Salina Journal, Feb. 4, 1977.

Elliott, Helene. “Mary Shane: Where’s the Oomph?” Chicago Sun-Times, June 28, 1977.

Flannery, Mary. “Baseball’s 1st Soprano,” Philadelphia Daily News, April 6, 1977.

Gearan, John. “Mary Shane: Pioneer Journalist, Loving Mother,” Worcester Telegram, Nov. 4, 1987.

Goddard, Joe. “Female Announcer: Some Are Against Her … Some for Her,” Chicago Sun-Times, April 11, 1977.

Granger, Bill. “Sox Fizzle​​—on Air,” Chicago Sun-Times, May 31, 1977.

Gurney, Jack. “Mary Shane Always Wanted To Play Second,” Sarasota Herald-Tribune, March 19, 1977.

Heise, Kenan. “Mary Shane; 1st Woman in Baseball Broadcasts,” Chicago Tribune, Nov. 6, 1987.

Hersh, Phil. “Shane Placed on White Sox’ Involuntary Retired List,” Chicago Daily News, Feb. 17, 1978.

Hoffman, Dale. “Holy Cow! Mary Shane to Broadcast Chisox,” Milwaukee Sentinel, Dec. 23, 1976.

Hurt, Murray. “Harry Caray: Bernstein of the Broadcast Booth,” Rock Island Argus, May 23, 1977.

Husar, John. “Raucous, Polite Sox Supporters Fans With Flair,” Chicago Tribune, Aug. 14, 1977.

Jet, Tish. “Striking Out In a New Direction,” Women’s Wear Daily, Jan. 26, 1977.

Kleiman, Carol. “Holy Cow! She’s Made It to the bBg Leagues!” Chicago Tribune, April 10, 1977.

“The ‘Lady Sportscaster’ Worked Her Way Up to Sox,” Moline Daily Dispatch, April 9, 1977.

Lublin, Joann. “Mary Shane: Baseball’s New Motor Mouth,” Ms., October 1977.

Morris, Jeannie. “Mary Left High and Dry in Sox Broadcast Booth,” Chicago Daily News, June 4, 1977.

Morris, Jeannie. “Shane no Shame,” Chicago Daily News, Sept. 3, 1977.

Morris, Peter. “Mary Shane,” Society for American Baseball Research

Nightingale, Dave. “No Telling Yet How Shane Story Will End,” Chicago Daily News, May 2, 1977.

Nigro, Ken. “Woman announcer has it all—but the voice,” Baltimore Sun, Sept. 4, 1977.

Perry, Clay. “She Will Be the New Voice Out at the Ol’ Ballgame,” Milwaukee Journal, April 10, 1977.

Picking, Ken. “Veeck’s ‘Woman with the White Sox’ Is Not a Fluke,” Fort Myers News-Press, March 30, 1977.

Rosen, Ted. “A Feminist Hits the Airways—for White Sox,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, April 8, 1977.

Rosenthal, Phil. “How Mary Shane broke new ground as a part-time Chicago White Sox TV and radio announcer in 1977,” Chicago Tribune, Feb. 21, 2021.

Sacek, Betty. “A New Sound to the Old Ballgame: First Female Play-by-Play Announcer,” Gary Post-Tribune, May 22, 1977.

Schoenenberger, Mary D. “Ballplayer’s Life Not All Glamour,” Shorewood Herald, Aug. 28, 1975.

Shane, Mary. “Bird on Bar Incident: ‘Mistake…I’m Human,’ ” Worcester Telegram, Nov. 8, 1985.

Shane, Mary. “ ‘I Was One of the First,’ ” Worcester Telegram Sunday Morning, Dec. 7, 1986.

Sons, Ray. “Newest Sox play? ‘Hi, I’m Mary Shane,’ ” Chicago Daily News, Dec. 29, 1976.

Sullivan, Paul. “Summer of ‘77: When Cubs and White Sox seemed destined for World Series,” Chicago Tribune, July 22, 2017.

Welch, Anvil. “Harry Caray Doesn’t Miss Longtime Home of St. Louis,” Springfield Leader and Press, Dec. 11, 1977.

Wolf, Bob. “New Career as a Writer for Shane,” Milwaukee Journal, May 28, 1978.

Wolf, Bob. “Shane Given a Faulty Trial,” Milwaukee Journal, Sept. 11, 1977.

Wolf, Bob. “Shane Now Glad She Ignored Advice,” Milwaukee Journal, Jan. 16, 1977.

Academic Article

Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. “Some Effects of Proportions on Group Life: Skewed Sex Ratios and Response to Token Women,The American Journal of Sociology 28, No. 5, (March 1977), 965-990.

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About the Show

The people and struggles that changed America—one year at a time. In each episode, host Josh Levin explores a story you may have forgotten, or one you’ve never heard of before. What were the moments that transformed politics, culture, science, religion, and more? And how does the nation’s past shape our present?

The first season of One Year focuses on 1977, a year when gay rights hung in the balance, Roots dominated the airwaves, and Jesus appeared on a tortilla.

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