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Voices of Sports Legends

A collection from Wayne McCombs

This collection of events and interviews from sports historian Wayne McCombs is a treasure trove of sports history.

Outline

Biography

Voices of Sports Legends is a collection of events and interviews which sports historian Wayne McCombs has collected and recorded. He has donated this material to the oral history website VoicesofOklahoma.com.

You will hear former Tulsa World sportswriter Bill Connors, Jerry Webber sports and news anchor for channel 2 KJRH, A. Ray Smith former owner of the then Tulsa Oilers baseball team, Oklahoma State baseball coach Gary Ward, TU football coach Glenn Dobbs, Diamond Baseball Dinners, and more.

We are grateful to Wayne McCombs for the preservation of these voices and stories!


Full Interview Transcript

A full transcript of each interview is not available at this time. Please read below for a brief introduction to each interview by Wayne McCombs.

Interview 01 –

1973 Diamond Baseball Dinner

The Tulsa Oiler Diamond Baseball Dinner was one of the best big league dinners in the country, organized by A. Ray Smith, owner of the Tulsa Oilers, a farm club of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Baseball’s greatest would attend, and speaking at the dinner in 1973 at the Camelot Inn, was Oklahoman Allie Reynolds and Casey Stengel, followed by Joe DiMaggio, who was made an honorary Indian chief.

The first voice you hear is that of the emcee Pat Butrum, known for playing the side- kick of Gene Autry and for playing the character Mr. Haney in the TV series Green Acres.

At the time of the dinner, January 19, 1973, DiMaggio was 59, Reynolds 56 and Stengel

82. The event was broadcast on radio station KVOO, preserved by baseball historian Wayne McCombs. And is now heard on VoicesofOklahoma.com.

Interview 02 – 31:38

1974 Diamond Baseball Dinner

The Tulsa Oiler’s Diamond Baseball dinner was one of the best big-league dinners in the country.

Baseball’s greatest would attend, organized by A. Ray Smith former owner of the Tulsa Oilers, a farm club of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Voices of Sports Legends

A collection of interviews from sports historian Wayne McCombs.

It was a Saturday evening January 27th, 1974 when about a thousand people attended to see and hear Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Whitey Ford, Johnny Bench, Allie Reynolds, Paul Dean, Warren Spahn and Satchel Paige.

The MC of the evening was Houston Chronicle sportswriter Morris Frank.

Highlights of the dinner were featured on the special affairs program, Voices of Oklahoma, heard on KVOO, with Alan Lambert, and preserved by baseball historian Wayne McCombs.

Interview 03 – 18:38

1975 Diamond Baseball Dinner

The 1975 Tulsa Oiler baseball dinner was held at the Mayo Hotel. Organized by A. Ray Smith, these dinners had grown to be of the best big-league dinners in the country. Since the Tulsa Oilers were a farm club of the St. Louis Cardinals, they drew some of baseball’s biggest names. The Master of Ceremonies for the dinner was Hugh Finnerty, former President of the Texas League. St Louis third baseman and coach, and former Tulsa Oiler baseball manager, Ken Boyer, is heard accepting an award for St. Louis Cardinal first baseman Keith Hernandez. You will also hear from Cardinal outfielder Bake McBride, and the New York Yankees Mickey Mantle tells a hunting story involving Billy Martin. These highlights of the 1975 dinner were produced using the title Voices of Sports Legends for local Tulsa radio and preserved by Wayne McCombs.

Interview 04 – 1:06:08

A. Ray Smith

A. Ray Smith was a long-time baseball executive, best known for his ownership of the minor league Tulsa Oilers franchise, which he later moved to Louisville, Kentucky. From 1963 to 1966, he also owned a tenth of the Cleveland Indians. He was a native of Texas but made his fortune in the construction trade in Tulsa. Sports historian Wayne McCombs interviewed Smith as he talked about people…. such as Tulsa personalities Mac Creager, Len Morton and others like Satchel Paige, Gene Autry, Warren Spahn, Winston Churchill, and his secret of hot dogs.

A. Ray Smith was 84 when he died June 28, 1999. Listen to this fascinating man in an interview recorded June 11, 1997 for Voices of Sports Legends and heard on the oral history website VoicesofOklahoma.com.

Interview 05 – 1:03:29 Glenn Dobbs

Glenn Dobbs was born in 1920 in McKinney, Texas. He was a successful running back and punter in high school while playing for the school in Frederick, Oklahoma.

Following graduation, he enrolled at the University of Tulsa, where he played football in the 1940, 41 and 42 seasons. During his senior year, 1942, Dobbs led the Golden Hurricane to an undefeated 10-0 record. In addition to his running and passing skills, he was the nation’s top collegiate punter in the 1942 season. Following his professional football career, he became head football coach from 1961 to 1968 at the University of Tulsa. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1980.

At the time of his death in 2002, Dobbs was still regarded as the greatest football player in the University of Tulsa history. He died of cancer at the age of 82. Sports historian Wayne McCombs interviewed Glenn Dobbs, April 24, 1997 for Voices of Sports Legends and was donated to the oral history website VoicesofOklahoma.com.

Interview 06 – 59:55 Jerry Webber

Jerry Webber was one of Oklahoma’s most beloved broadcasters. He was a reporter, sportscaster, news anchor, and storyteller. In 1969 he joined Channel 2-KJRH in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a reporter and was named sports director in 1971. His love for news prompted his move to news anchor in 1986. Wayne McCombs interviewed Jerry on October 12, 1998 just two months before Jerry died on December 19, 1998. Jerry was 62 when he lost his battle with cancer. You will hear Jerry talk about the University of Tulsa basketball program, Coach Nolan Richardson, the 1981 NIT championship, also Barry Switzer and Oklahoma football and other topics. Listen to Wayne McCombs as he interviews Jerry Webber for Voices of Sports Legends on the oral history website VoicesofOklahoma.com.

Interview 07 – 54:10 Bill Connors

Bill Connors, Senior Sports Editor of the Tulsa World, was known by three generations of Oklahoma sports fans for his incisive reporting and precise writing. He was 11 times

Oklahoma Sportswriter of the Year and in 1998 entered the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

Connors joined the World staff full time in 1953. By the mid-1960s he had acquired a national reputation, contributing to many major sports publications and also Southern Living. He was 68 when he died June 2, 2000.

Sports Historian Wayne McCombs interviewed Bill, July 27, 1998. They covered many topics including Glenn Dobbs, Henry Iba, OU–Texas games, Mickey Mantle, the Boston Red Sox’s Ted Williams, and more topics. This is a Voices of Sports Legends interview heard on the oral history website VoicesofOklahoma.com.

Interview 08 – 50:15 Gary Ward

Gary Ward was the head baseball coach at Oklahoma State University from 1978 to 1996. Ward won 17 Big Eight Conference championships at OSU, including 16 in a row from 1980 to 1996. He led his team to 18 40-win seasons, and 12 times he finished in the top 10. He later became the head baseball coach at New Mexico State University. During his tenure, he became only the 24th coach in college baseball history to gain 1,000 career wins.

This interview was recorded by sports historian Wayne McCombs on May 4, 1999 for

Voices of Sports Legends and is heard on the oral history website VoicesofOklahoma.com.



Production Notes

Voices of Sports Legends

Program Credits:
A Ray Smith – Interviewee
Glenn Dobbs – Interviewee
Jerry Weber – Interviewee
Bill Connors – Interviewee
Gary Ward – Interviewee
Wayne McCombs — Interviewer
Mel Myers — Announcer

Honest Media
Mel Myers — Audio Editor
melmyershonestmedia@cox.net

Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
http://www.MullerhausLegacy.com
Douglas Miller — Art Director
Mark DeMoss — Webmaster
Laura Hyde — Upload Coordinator

Date Created:
A Ray Smith — July 27, 1998
Glenn Dobbs — April 24, 1997
Jerry Weber — October 12, 1998
Bill Connors — July 27, 1998
Gary Ward — May 4, 1999

Date Published: April 12, 2021

Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.

Tags: Tulsa Oilers, Allie Reynolds, Casey Stengel, Joe DiMaggio, Pat Butrum, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Whitey Ford, Johnny Bench, Paul Dean, Warren Spahn, Satchel Paige, Mor-ris Frank, Hugh Finnerty, Ken Boyer, Bake McBride, Cleveland Indians, Mac Creager, Len Morton, Winston Churchill, University of Tulsa, Golden Hurricane, football, baseball, basketball, sportscaster, news anchor, Nolan Richardson, sports editor, Tulsa World, Glenn Dobbs, Henry Iba, Ted Williams, Oklahoma State University


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Cite This Work

Voices of Sports Legends. "Voices of Sports Legends: Audio Collection by Wayne McCombs" Interview by John Erling. Voices of Oklahoma, Date Created: A Ray Smith — July 27, 1998 Glenn Dobbs — April 24, 1997 Jerry Weber — October 12, 1998 Bill Connors — July 27, 1998 Gary Ward — May 4, 1999, https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interviews/legends-voices-of-sports, Accessed May 22, 2022
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