“Howdy Men…” Bob Steele in World War II


By Bob Steele

(c) CT Explored Inc.  2003 Nov/Dec/Jan 2004


September 24, 1942

During World War II many radio stations provided The Office of War Information social recordings for its “News from Home” series. This is one of three such submissions recorded by Bob Steel and preserved in the collection of the Library of Congress. This transcription is courtesy of Mrs. Robert L. Steele.

Howdy men, this is Bob Steele, speaking to you from WTIC in Hartford, getting all set for about two minutes of ‘Strictly Sports’ for you Connecticut boys.

Tuesday, September 22 was a big night for Willie Pep, Hartford’s undefeated featherweight. Willie beat one of the toughest boys in the business, Vince Dell’ Orto, before a crowd of 6,500 at Buckley Stadium. It was a 10-round decision. The gate was about $13,000, Pep getting nearly $3,000 for his end. It was Willie’s 50th consecutive professional win, and he’s now rated the fourth best featherweight in the world by Ring Magazine. Dell’ Orto is ranked number 9. Pep’s next opponent may be Lulu Constantine or Chalky Wright. Lulu and Chalky are fighting for Chalky’s featherweight title Frida night, September 25th in Madison Square Garden, by the way.

Paul Revere, who used to bring me the late baseball scores on his trusty plater, ‘Porter’s Hat,’ has joined the Civilian Pilot Training Corps, U.S. Army Enlisted Reserve. Speaking of baseball scores and baseball, Hartford finished seventh in the Eastern League, Springfield eighth. Albany was the pennant winner. In the playoffs, tough, Scranton beat Binghamton in the best of seven series 4 games to 1.

Ted Williams, the Kid himself, leader of both leagues in batting, home runs, and runs batted in, is coming to Hartford September 28th to play center field for the Savitt Gems in a game with a Connecticut semipro team to be named. The Red Sox slugger was a little backward about coming at first. Bill Savitt offered him $500 to appear, but Ted declined. Next day, Savitt offered him $750 but got no answer to his wire. Well, Bill told me about it. I suggested offering Williams a $1,000 war bond, same outlay to Bill, $750, but who could refuse a $1,000 bond? Bill wired the offer; Williams wired acceptance within one hour. Till next time, this is Bob Steele in Hartford, saying so long, men.


Read more stories from the 2003 Nov/Dec/Jan 2004 issue
Read more stories about Connecticut in World War II in our special 75th anniversary issue Fall 2020
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