Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled You Can Go Home Again

Last November, Bryan Curtis wrote this piece on Marv Albert for Grantland:

The Aufrichtig brothers — Marv, Al, Steve — had a ritual. After dinner, they'd walk from the dining room into the living room and close the door. They'd turn on whatever baseball game was on TV. And then they'd turn the sound way down.

They placed a table in front of the television. Marv, who was the oldest by six years, took a seat on the right. He did play-by-play. Al sat in the middle. He was in charge of a sound-effects record that replicated crowd noise. Steve sat on the left. He had two price-marking pencils from their father's grocery store, and when he hit the pencils together, the sound mimicked the crack of a bat.

The Aufrichtigs would begin … broadcasting. In front of the boys was a Wollensak reel-to-reel tape recorder, which captured every word. They did this almost every night. After a couple of innings, they switched places.

Their two-story house was in a neighborhood called Manhattan Beach. It's an odd little suburban corner of south Brooklyn, where the streets have British names like Oxford and Amherst. The Aufrichtigs lived at 178 Kensington. If you walk half a block north on Kensington, you run into a channel thronged with Russian fishermen. Walk half a block south and you find a big park with basketball courts, and beyond that, the Atlantic Ocean.

Max Aufrichtig, Marv's dad, was a Hungarian American who owned a grocery store. He liked the Dodgers. His wife, Alida, preferred music. It was Alida who answered the phone one day and found Stan Musial on the line — Marv, posing as a journalist, had called Musial's hotel and left an urgent message.

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