Monday, February 3, 2020

August 5, 1921

For my last post, I tried to find additional photos of the 1921 Pirates, to see if I could find any others of Bill Warwick. I didn't find any. But while searching, I stumbled across something else from 1921 that was news to me: The first radio broadcast of a baseball game happened on August 5, 1921. The game featured the Pittsburgh Pirates, who beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-5 that day, at Forbes Field.

Back in those days, if you weren't watching a baseball game live, you might be able to attend a 'viewing party', where a large board was setup that contained players that had to be physically moved around the diamond. Somebody would be responsible for updating the board as they received updates via telegraph, using different lights to help relay the balls and strikes.

All of that started to change, when, in 1921, 25-year-old Harold Arlin setup behind home plate at Forbes Field and broadcast that day's game over the wires of the then nine-month-old radio station, Pittsburgh's KDKA. Since commercial radio was very much in its infancy then, it's hard to say how many people even heard the broadcast, and it's likely that it wasn't nearly as colourful as the radio broadcasts we can hear today, but that's where it all began.

Now you can follow games any of ten different ways. We've come a long way.

If you want to read more about the first ever game, here are some interesting accounts:

https://www.philliedelphia.com/2016/08/august-5-1921-the-first-mlb-radio-broadcast.html

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/3dgdaj/how-radio-changed-baseball-fandom-forever

http://www.baseballessential.com/news/2015/12/11/the-history-of-baseball-broadcasting-early-radio/

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

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