Mt. Vernon Register-News

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January 7, 2014

Readers ask, Mr. Know-It-All answers

Q: One of ice hockey’s great lines used by a play-by-play announcer is “He shoots, he scores!” Do you know who coined the phrase? -- L.G., DeRidder, La.

A: Foster Hewitt (1902-1985), often called Canada’s premier hockey play-by-play broadcaster, is credited with the phrase. Hewitt’s enthusiastic style of calling plays was popular with listeners of “Hockey Night in Canada.”

Q: What does the “K” stand for in newsman Howard K. Smith’s name? What can you tell me about him? -- R.C., Jackson, Miss.

A: Howard Kingsbury Smith was born in Ferriday, La., in 1914. He graduated from Tulane University as a Rhodes Scholar, and joined United Press as its London reporter. In 1960, Smith headed the first presidential debate between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. Besides being a popular television broadcaster, he also wrote several best-selling books and appeared in several movies, usually as himself. Smith died in 2002.

Q: When was the first major league baseball game televised? -- O.C.B., Altoona, Pa.

A: On Aug. 26, 1939, the Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers played a doubleheader, the first MLB game on TV, with Red Barber as the announcer. Each team won a game. The first college baseball game televised was on May 17, 1939. This game featured Columbia and Princeton. Princeton won 2 to 1.

Q: What was the name of the dog on the TV show Petticoat Junction? -- F.G., Nahant, Mass.

A: In real life, the dog’s name was Higgins, but on the show he was called “Dog.” Higgins also starred as the title pooch in “Benji.”

Q: When the “Adventures of Superman” first appeared on TV in 1952, Phyllis Coates played Lois Lane. She left after one season, and Noel Neil took over. Why did Coates leave the show?

A: Phyllis Coates (real name: Gypsie Ann Evarts Stell) played the role of Lois Lane in the 1951 movie, “Superman and the Mole Men” starring George Reeves as Superman. She was then asked to play the role on TV. She decided not to return the second year, citing a conflict with the producers and other commitments. Noel Neill, Coates’ replacement, had played Lois Lane in the old movie serials (1948-1950).

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