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The Howling Marine

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  • The Howling Marine

    I am convinced there was a man called "The Howling Marine" who attended many Washington Senator baseball games at old Griffith Stadium. He was known for his bellowing howls from the bleachers whenever the Senators made a great defensive play (think "Eddie Yost" at 3rd base) or an important hit at the plate. I would like to know his name (first name Bill?) and any other published details of his life.

    Thanks for listening! Ciao!

    Paul Daniggelis
    El Paso, Texas
    [email protected]
    No luck so far. I have written to Charles Brotman, the public address announcer for the Senators way back when. Also to Eddie Yost's daughter who has written to this web page. Paul
    I now have independent confirmation of a Griffith Stadium "Howling Marine" from Charles Brotman. His letter follows:
    Yes! I am the “guilty” party!!!
    I was the public address announcer at Griffith Stadium (1956 -
    1960), then the P.A. anncr. at D.C. Stadium in 1961 thru the
    middle ‘60s.
    Your memory is good – there was a Senators fan at Griffith Stadium
    who was called “The Howling Marine” -- and his first name was “:Bill.”
    I have no other information about “Bill.”
    Wish I could send you more info on “The Howling Marine” -- but
    that’s all I can remember.
    I was honored last year (2006), when the new Nationals team invited
    me to announce the opening game at RFK Stadium in Washington.
    I am now looking for contacts for Warner Wolf, Phil Wood, or Bob Woolf, who, along with Arch McDonald, was the former announcer for the senators during that time period. If there's any help out there, please let us hear from you. Ciao!
    Since my last entry I was able to contact Eddie Yost's daughter, Felita Yost Carr. I explained my mission; she contacted her dad; she gave me his home phone number; and I have had the great pleasure of talking to a hero of my youth. Eddie is 80+, still sounds like a New Yorker but lives now in Massachusetts, mind still sharp and he remembers the "Howling Marine". But he never knew any details about the mystery Marine save one. He suggested I contact Mickey Vernon (even gave me his address) because Eddie recalls that Mickey was the Marine's favorite ballplayer. That phone call made my day; probably my year. Ciao!
    Last edited by urbisoler; 03-26-2007, 12:31 PM.

  • #2

    This post has been bugging me for months-I'm a little too young to have heard this "gentleman" first hand but some Internet surfing yielded a couple of articles where he is mentioned.

    The first is a column by Bill McCaffrey from November of 2005. Here the "Howling Marine's" last name is revealed as "McAlister". (Note you'll have to scroll through some other stuff to get to the letters section where this is discussed.) It evens mentions that Mrs. Clark Griffith would chase him away from her box seat, instructing him to "do his howling somewhere else".

    McCaffreys World

    The second comes from the Baltimore Sun and a discussion of the death of noted Orioles fan "Wild Bill" Hagy. Scroll down to post #13 for a mention of the Brooklyn Dodgers Hilda Chester and the Howling Marine.

    Wild Bill Hagy

    So now we have (possibly) a first and last name: Bill McAlister. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Aa3rt; 09-30-2007, 11:45 AM.
    "For the Washington Senators, the worst time of the year is the baseball season." Roger Kahn

    "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." Rogers Hornsby.


    • #3
      If you're still looking,

      - Arch McDonald died about 1959. Heart attack on the train carrying the Redskins back from NYC, where they had just tied the Giants on a last-second field-goal by Bob Khyatt (check spelling. He had a brother Ed, who played defense). Arch was the first Nats radio broadcaster. Used to do away games from an auto-showroom down-town. Had a bell he would ding when there was a hit.

      - Warner Wolf, last time I noticed, was doing sports on onbe of the shock-rock shows in NYC.

      - Bob Woolf, in 2000, was sports broadcaster and sports boss at a TV station on Long Island. I was in Montauk with my wife and daughter when they turned on the TV, and, without turning around, I said, "That sounds just like Bob Woolf!" And it was. Check Wikipedia for the latest.

      However, hats off to anyone who spoke to Eddie Yost and Mickey Vernon. I have alway hit left-handed -- although I'm right-handed -- from watching Vernon on TV.


      • #4
        Very latest:

        Warner Wolf's now a pitchman for Honda dealers in the New York City area.


        • #5
          Sergeant McAllister

          Yes. I remember quite well Sgt. McAllister. He used to be a fixture at the old Piedmont League games at Portsmouth Stadium in the early '50s.

          Whenever the Merrimacs started a rally and got a couple of men on base, the Sarge would start his bellowing and the pitcher would get so rattled, he would just go to pieces. The Portsmouth club usually got 4 or 5 runs in those instances. Nobody remembered who got the RBIs, but the crowd surely knew who got the RSIs (runs screamed in).

          After the Piedmont League folded and there was no minor league baseball in the area for a few years, one Saturday afternoon I had the TV on for a broadcast of the Game of the Week with Dizzy Dean from old Griffith Stadium. About the seventh inning, the Senators started a rally and suddenly I heard in the background a very familiar sound -- it was the unmistakeable booming voice of Sgt. McAllister doing his thing.

          Like Pie Traynor and Hack Wilson, old Sarge got his start in the minors, right here in Portsmouth, Virginia.


          • #6
            Thank you!

            I want to thank all of the above for their input on the Howlng Marine query I initiated some time ago. I finished my first novel entitled "The D.H.", sent a first draft copy to Eddie Yost who did not respond. Since my novel is an anti-NY Yankee satire, I don't think "nice guy" Eddie wanted to be associated with it. Then again, it just might not be good enough to ask Eddie for a publishable "blurb". In any event, the manuscript is making the rounds and I hope it eventually sees the light of day. Bill McAllister, wherever you are, know that we were all thinking of you. Ciao! Paul


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