Many men love remembering, discussing, reliving, and even arguing about sports and sporting events. Whether this is a way to live vicariously through the accomplishment of others, or a way to recapture youth by remembering the key points of the game, sports are an enjoyable part of life. For this reason, sports have also been an important part of old time radio.
On the eve of the 1927 World Series, the station manager at KVOO, Tulsa, realized that he had made all of the arrangements to broadcast the games, except that he was missing an On Air voice. His attention fell on France Laux, a real estate broker who was a part time referee of college football games. Laux continued with KVOO for a short time, broadcasting college football and bringing a young Gene Autry to the radio for the first time. In 1929, Laux went to KMOX in St Louis on a 30 day trial to broadcast for the Browns and the Cardinals. The short trial stretched into 24 years, and Laux became known as the Dean of Baseball Announcers.
In the late 1940's Sherman Productions brought France Laux into the studio to record The Sports Answer Man with announcer Bob Ingraham. Listeners were encouraged to write in questions about sports records, personalities, trivia, and rules questions. Although somewhat dated, the programs are highly entertaining thanks to Laux's entertaining style and broad knowledge of all aspects of sports. In addition to the Q&A, Laux includes a trivia section and a Featured Story of the week.
In the 50's, the Armed Forces Radio and Television Services reformulated the program with new stars and announcers, including Dick Shaap, who was beginning his career after receiving a Grantland Rice fellowship at Columbia. Schaap went on to become the editor of SPORT magazine and was part of the NBC and ABC TV news departments. The biggest change to the AFRTS version of The Sports Answer Man was that the questions came exclusively from servicemen.
See also: The Answer Man for non-sports related questions.