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Rod Serling's lost baseball show to make return

This time, on the radio -- a dimension as vast as space
@michaelsclair
March 20, 2020

If there's one thing we could all use right now, it's baseball -- in any form. Well, how about a baseball story written by none other than "The Twilight Zone" creator Rod Serling? On March 25, when we would otherwise be preparing for Opening Day, Cincinnati's WVXU-FM will be streaming

If there's one thing we could all use right now, it's baseball -- in any form. Well, how about a baseball story written by none other than "The Twilight Zone" creator Rod Serling?

On March 25, when we would otherwise be preparing for Opening Day, Cincinnati's WVXU-FM will be streaming Serling's radio drama, "O’Toole From Moscow."

Written in 1955 -- four years before "The Twilight Zone" debuted -- the show is set during the Cold War and follows a Soviet Embassy worker who loves the Brooklyn Dodgers and skips town with a "comrade who suddenly becomes the greatest slugger ever for the Cincinnati Reds" -- no word on if this slugger also ripped off his sleeves the way Ted Kluszewski did.

(It's a good time to remind you that the Reds reverted to the Redlegs in 1953 because of anti-communist sentiment.)

The drama, which featured an appearance from Hall of Fame manager Leo Durocher, only aired once on NBC, and no recordings were ever made. Fortunately, Cincinnati journalist John Kiesewetter managed to hunt down the original script, and then edit it into a radio drama. With help from actors at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Anne Serling -- Rod's daughter -- to provide the narration, the show was recorded in November and now awaits its debut.

This wasn't the only baseball-themed episode that Serling ever wrote, of course. The 35th episode of "The Twilight Zone" featured a robot baseball player named Casey that dominates batters with an unbeatable fastball. But after he's given a heart that allows him to continue playing, he's too upset to continue playing. If you're a CBS All Access member, you can watch the episode here.

You can tune in for "O'Toole from Moscow" at 8 p.m. ET on March 25 at 91.7 FM in the Cincinnati area, or online at wvxu.org.

Michael Clair writes for MLB.com. He spends a lot of time thinking about walk-up music and believes stirrup socks are an integral part of every formal outfit.