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Betty Bushman

Betty Bushman (1931–2020), pioneering baseball announcer

by Kirk Fox

Betty Bushman became one of the first women to broadcast a Major League Baseball game when she joined the radio crew for the Kansas City A’s in 1964.

  • Died: Thursday, September 3, 2020 (Who else died on September 3?) 
  • Details of Death: Died at the age of 89 in Kansas City, Missouri. 
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Pioneering baseball announcer 

Betty Bushman, then known as Betty Caywood, was a model and TV weather forecaster in Chicago, who was hired by notorious Kansas City A’s owner Charles Finley towards the end of the 1964 season to join the radio broadcasting crew for the team. Finley hoped Bushman would help attract more female fans. Bushman provided color commentary for the A’s the last 15 games of 1964 with Monte Moore and George Bryson doing play-by-play. Finley did not renew her contract after that season. 

Bushman encountered sexism when the sports writers at Fenway Park would not allow her to eat in their dining room. She told The St. Joseph News-Press in December 1964, “I think we accomplished what we set out to do, but I know we’d have done much better with more time.”  


Finley wanted her to dress a certain way 

“When he first hired me, he told me that he wanted me to wear Kelly green and that awful yellow and I said, ‘Your male broadcasters wear that?’ And he said, ‘Well of course not,’ and I said, ‘Neither does your female one.’ In the beginning I would listen and then hang up politely. Later on I’d just hear his voice and I’d just hang up.” —Fountain City Frequency Blog in 2018 

What they said about her

Full Obituary: New York Times

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