Tuesday, April 18, 2017

AntiCurrent Audio Archives Vol. 15: Waite Hoyt- In the Rain

This is the fifteenth edition of the "AntiCurrent.com Archives", a collection of rare or bootleg-albums I'm releasing through this blog. Click here to view all past AntiCurrent.com Archive Albums.

My Love of Baseball
I root for The Cincinnati Reds, but I’m not a “sports guy” by any means. I grew up in Middletown, Ohio and my uncle Bill would quite often take me out the ballpark to catch games whenever he was in town. It was there that I developed my love of baseball despite not regularly following the sport. Rather than keeping up with the latest developments in the game, I spent my youth sitting in front of my Grandmother’s TV and recorded old replays of The Big Red Machine on VHS tapes.

I value the history, the magic, and the old timey-ness of the game. As a pre-teen, I'd make my Mother drive me to Reds fan-conventions where I met every single member of The Big Red Machine (save for Pete Rose). I even have a baseball signed by the entire 1976 team. Other than shaking Johnny Bench's hand and feeling as if he was a giant, the one standout moment of these conventions was meeting The BRM's manager, Sparky Anderson. Though well into his 60's, the dirty old man's libido was seemingly unfazed as he asked my mother out to a "steak dinner" in front of me.* 

*I once told this story to my baseball loving friend Andrew and now have a Sparky Anderson bobble-head to commemorate the time the white-haired old man tried to have sex with my mother. Thanks Andrew...

Love of The Cincinnati Reds was the one thing my PTSD’d Grandfather and I had in common. Thus, he gave me his copy of "The Best of Waite Hoyt: In the Rain". Several times, we actually sat down together and listened to the album on the self-amplified turntable I had gotten after my school had discarded it. Those times huddled around the record player were as close to a bonding moment I ever had with him (outside of blowing up random toys with black powder) and I’ll always prize this vinyl for that very reason. But that wasn’t my only familial connection to The Reds.

My ancestor Edd Roush played for the team from 1916 to 1926, he even coached the team during the 1931 season. Though I’d like to say he’s famous for his amazing fielding, he’s a Roush and we’re a rather anti-authoritarian family. Legend goes that on June 8th, 1920 there was a disagreement going on between the managers and the umpires. The argument went on for so long in fact, that Edd decided to take a nap in center field. Either he was incredibly comfortable or incredibly obstinate, because the Umpires could not awake him when play resumed and he was kicked out for delaying the game.

Waite Hoyt
For 24 years, Waite Hoyt was the voice of The Cincinnati Reds. Beyond being a legendary storyteller, the man was best known for calling games in the past tense. Rather than stating “here’s the pitch” he would say “there was the pitch”. He felt this was more accurate, quite correctly explaining, "…as I speak to you, what happened a moment ago is gone." Though he was a recovered alcoholic, he had a strong loyalty to one of The Reds main sponsors, Burger Beer. The man had such a fixed moral compass that after the team replaced Burger Beer with Wiedemann, he chose to instead retire rather than promote a new beer as he thought his credibility may be tainted. In 2007, he, Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall were honored by The Reds with replica microphones hung under the radio booth at The Great American Ball Park.

Note: The documentary Waite’s World features interviews with Nick Clooney, Joe Nuxhall, and more. A copy can be purchased here and a stream of it on YouTube is available here.

This Release
As you can tell, my Grandfather didn’t keep this vinyl in immaculate shape, but it is entirely listenable audio and is likely the best this record will sound without a professional machine cleaning. I dusted off any loose debree, soaked this vinyl with cleaner, scrubbed it clean, and used a wet-dry vacuum to remove the grit and dirt from years of abuse. I ripped this on my Pro-Ject USB turntable into Audacity, capturing at 16bit and normalizing it after. Next I took a sample of the surface noise and removed it from the entire project. Afterwards, I ran a de-clicker and de-popper to remove more noise. I then exported this into 16bit FLAC files and 320mbps MP3’s.

I’ve kept this album as two full sides because though it is segregated track by track on the vinyl, there is no tracklist on the album art. This wasn’t meant to be experienced one track at a time, this was meant to be experienced as a whole.

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