GRANEY, JOHN GLADSTONE "JACK" (10 June 1886-19 Apr. 1978), major-league baseball player for Cleveland from 1910-22 and radio announcer of Indians games between 1932-53, was born in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada. An excellent left-handed baseball pitcher, he intended to attend college, but after a tryout in Buffalo, was signed, shipped to Erie, and finished the season at Wilkes-Barre with 24-4 record. His contract was purchased in 1908 by the Cleveland Naps, but in spring training, he hit manager NAPOLEON LAJOIE† in the head with a pitch and was sold to Portland. After hitting 6 more batters during the season, he was switched to the outfield. By 1910 he was back with Cleveland. Graney had a lifetime batting average of .250 in 1,402 games and played on the 1920 World Championship team.
In 1921, Graney became a partner in the Kane-Graney Motor Co. in Brooklyn. Selling out in 1929, Graney began his radio-announcing career in 1932. His salty voice and enthusiastic manner made him the most popular baseball announcer in Cleveland sports history. Asked the reason for his success, Graney explained, "I tried to follow the ball, stay with the play and leave fancy words to others." Over the years, he teamed with several announcers. Graney tried television sportscasting at WEWS (Channel 5) in 1954 but then retired to Bowling Green, Mo. He and his wife, Pauline, married in 1916, had a daughter, Margaret, and a son, Jack, Jr., killed in WORLD WAR II.Last Modified: 16 Jul 1997 03:02:31 PM