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March 14, 2023 10:16 am  #1

Who Was The World's 1st Hockey Broadcaster? It Wasn't Foster Hewitt

It was exactly 100 years ago Tuesday - March 14, 1923, that a man sat behind a mic and called a Canadian hockey game on the radio - and it wasn't Foster Hewitt. Instead, it was a guy named Pete Parker and he beat the traditional "Voice of Hockey" by eight full days. 

Parker did the deed on CKCK in Regina, calling a playoff match between the Regina Capitals and the Edmonton Eskimos. But history forgot him for many years, until he was finally recognized half a century later with a mention in the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

100 years ago, Regina man made hockey broadcast history 

But it turns out, even Parker was beaten to the face-off when Toronto Star reporter Norm Albert turned on a mic and delivered the third period of an OHL game from the Mutual Street Arena. That date: Feb. 8, 1923. It aired on the Star's own station, CFCA. 

“The announcer who described the play,” reported the Star’s radio column the following day, “was right by the side of the rink and as he spoke, his voice was shot into space.” It was, in fact, sent out by phone over the Bell Telephone wires from the Arena near Queen and Jarvis Sts. to the CFCA studio in the Star building at 18 King St. W, then amplified and transmitted over thousands of miles.

“The vivid description of Norman Albert,” reported the Star, “gave listeners the chance to mentally see the fast action.”

Albert didn't last long on his perch. He was replaced two weeks later by Hewitt. 

And by the way, the linked article below offers a great description of what you would have regularly heard on the station if you tuned in during those very early days. How very different it was from what's on the air now.

Hockey play-by-play was born in Toronto 91 years ago