A pioneer baseball sportscaster, "The Old Redhead" is generally acknowledged as having been one of the very best practitioners of his craft. Over the course of his long career, Barber called play-by-play on the first night baseball game, the first televised game (during which he also announced the first TV commercials), the first televised World Series, and the first televised football games. The first man to be hired by Edward R. Murrow when the legendary newsman returned from World War II to run CBS News, he served as the network's director of sports.
Barber garnered praise from some and criticism from others for his scrupulous impartiality during his broadcasts; one never had a sense that he was rooting for one team over another--a trait that sometimes irritated partisans (such as his employers). Barber became familiar to a new generation of fans through his Friday morning appearances on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" for the last 11 years of his life. One did not need to be a sports fan to delight in hearing this great broadcaster's wonderfully tangy voice--so warmly evocative of leisurely summer afternoons--comment on the current sports scene in a crisp no-nonsense manner.