26 Aug

it’s come to this

Every major league game that is played today will be televised. If you have the means, you can plop down in your living room and watch the Milwaukee Brewers play the Los Angeles Dodgers on a 77-inch high-def flat screen, crank up the volume on the sound system, slam down a couple beers and feel just like you’re in Dodger Stadium. The germination point for this sensory festival came on Aug. 26, 1939, when W2XBS, an “experimental” NBC station in New York, put two cameras in Ebbets Field and broadcast a Cincinnati Reds-Brooklyn Dodgers Saturday doubleheader. The record shows that Red Barber, the Columbus native and Hall of Fame broadcaster, called the games. Harry Craft, an Ellisville native and Mississippi College alum, played center field for the Reds in both games. No TV star this day, he went 0-for-8 as the teams split the twinbill. It was estimated that only about 400 households in New York had a television set at the time. As engaging as Barber was on the air, it’s rather unlikely that anyone watching, beer or no beer, felt like they were at Ebbets Field. But it was the start of something big – something bigger, in fact, than they could ever have imagined.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

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