Baseball legend Joe Engel was one of the greatest promoters of all times. Mr. Engel headed up the Chattanooga Lookouts for decades. His promotions included Jackie Mitchell, one of the first female baseball pitchers, striking out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game with the New York Yankees.
Engel also gave away a house which stands today on Hixson Pike in the S Curve. Engel's famous Knot Hole Gang allowed many young teens to see the Lookouts free if they went to Sunday School.
Engel was a very smart businessman. In 1940, he founded WDEF radio and hired broadcaster Luther Masingill. When WDEF moved their radio studios from 3300 S.
Broad St. to 2615 S. Broad Luther had accumulated a lot of material he had saved during his lengthy career. He gave me some pictures of a WDEF-Kiwanis Club Christmas party held in December at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium.
Luther wasn’t sure how many years the event took place. These pictures are from 1951.
Luther said the party was Joe Engel’s idea and the auditorium was always packed. Luther, of course, was the emcee. Luther didn’t remember who played Santa or the name of the fire official in the picture.
Luther was inducted into both the National and Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame before his death in 2014.