Dot’s Reading Room – The First Televised World Series Spurred America’s Television Boom,  75 Years Ago

Dot’s Reading Room

On a lighter note: here’s one for baseball fans.

This year some 12 million viewers are expected to watch the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros.

But it wasn’t until the 1947 series between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers – 75 years ago – that fans could watch their favorite players duke it out on screen.

In his book “Center field Shot: A History of Baseball on Television,” the writer James Walker, Emeritus Professor of Communication, Saint Xavier University, describes how the telecasts became a sensation, drawing millions of Americas to a new medium at a time when there were no national networks, only a handful of stations, and somewhere between 50,000 and 60,000 TVs in the entire country.

“Viewers were fascinated to see Boston Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk desperately waving at his home run to stay in play. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Kirk Gibson pumping his arms as he hobbles around second base after muscling a home run off Dennis Eckersley, the Oakland A’s dominant closer. The ground ball hit by New York Mets outfielder Mookie Wilson skipping through the legs of Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner.” There’s much more to read in this fascinating “look back.” The Mutual Broadcasting system had the radio rights and there were only three TV networks so the negotiations were fierce. In the White House, President Harry Truman, his staff, and the DC press corps watched enthusiastically.

Read more about this historic moment: https://theconversation.com/the-first-televised-world-series-spurred-americas-television-boom-75-years-ago-193006


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