A Pioneer that came up from the Bush Leagues!
Gil is perhaps best known for his work as a sportscaster. This work crossed over from radio to television and back to radio again. Gil Stratton loved sports from an early age. It was always his dream to someday become a radio sportscaster before the genre was defined.
When Gil, a sports fan and future L.A. Rams announcer, was playing played the bookish un-athletic son of a retired football star Jarring Jack Jackson (played by Eddie Mayhoff) in That’s My Boy, he was already a regular ump in the Pacific Coast League.
Gil got a 2 page article in Life Magazine for his work on this show in the August 23, 1954 issue.
He was shooting at CBS Television City and then going next door to Gilmore Stadium to call the games. He spent nine years as a baseball umpire. He started in the minor leagues
The Pacific Coast League by 1952. The PCL was texisted in most of the cities now host Major League teams. It was during these umpire days that Gil Stratton developed the unique by line of I… “call’em as we see’em” or “Time to call ’em as I see ’em.”
Gil Stratton was there at the dawn of Sports programming. Sports on TV are pervasive today because of satellite technology, but were in their infancy in the 1960’s. Gil was one of the first to do remote broadcasts with the KNX mobile unit in 1958 at the LA Open Golf Tournament. Long before specialized cable TV sports shows, Gil hosted a Saturday afternoon racing show in Los Angeles that went out to all major Western markets. He was also one of the first news entertainment personalities to conquer both the television and radio airwaves simultaneously.
He passed his love of sports and sportsmanship along to his family, his friends and his fans.