If you’ve never heard of the Miley Collection, then you’re probably not a fan of historic radio and TV sports calls. For those of us who have heard of it, it’s a vast treasure trove of sports broadcasting, featuring rare radio and TV calls of some of the greatest moments in US sports history. Starting when he was in high school back in 1947, John Miley started recording sports on the radio. Eventually, he began archiving his tapes and amassed a very large collection of radio and TV calls that date back to 1920 and the infancy of radio. Through a network of other collectors, Miley was able to find other rare recordings and he’s cataloged his tapes so well that networks have come calling to find certain moments.
Since 1990, he’s sold CD’s of his recordings to the public. Now, the Library of Congress will take some 6,000 recordings spanning from 1920 through 1972, digitize them and eventually make them available for public. It’s probably the greatest archive of sports broadcasting and preserves many moments that might have been lost forever.
Some of the greatest broadcasters are involved in the collection, Vin Scully, Curt Gowdy, Marty Glickman, Red Barber, Mel Allen, Jack Buck, Harry Caray and so many more.
Miley will keep a copy of his collection.
Vincent Mallozzi of the New York Times wrote about the Miley Collection back in 2006.
Mallozzi has a story on the Library of Congress purchasing a portion of the Collection.
Mike Dodd from USA Today also writes about Miley selling his collection to the Library of Congress.
And Rich Davis of the Evansville (IN) Courier & Press from Miley’s hometown says the recordings will live in perpetuity.
The Sporting News helped to bring the collection to prominence in 1977 and broadcasters like Bob Costas started calling to listen to his collection. It’s well known among the networks and I look forward to hearing the archives when the Library of Congress makes the tapes available in a couple of years.