Typewriter of the moment: Sports broadcaster Red Barber; first televised games, August 26, 1939

August 26, 2014

August 26 is the anniversary of the first television broadcast of professional baseball, in 1939; the future-legendary Red Barber called a doubleheader between his Brooklyn Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds from Ebbets field.

Both games were carried on experimental television station W2XBS, which evolved into New York’s NBC affiliate Channel 2, WNBC.  Two stationary cameras were used, in contrast to the several used in modern broadcasts — and it was in black and white.  About 3,000 people are estimated to have watched.

The Reds won the opener, 5-2, but the Dodgers roared back in game 2, 6-1.

In 1939, the broadcast was inspired by the New York World’s Fair, which showcased television, though there were perhaps only 400 television sets in the New York area.  Baseball on television didn’t really take off until after World War II, with many games scheduled in 1946.  Today, all 30 major league teams are scheduled to play on TV.

Ebbets field is gone.  The Dodgers absconded to Los Angeles in the 1950s.  Baseball games are in color.

Red Barber is gone, too.  We have great play-by-play guys, and wonderful color commentators.  There will never be another Red Barber though.  Below is an old post noting Barber’s ways with typewriters.

Sportswriter Red Barber at his typewriter - Florida State Archives photo

Sportswriter Red Barber at his typewriter – State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/10011

The great Red Barber, when his hair was still red, working at his typewriter, with a volume of Roget’s Thesaurus close by.

Many of us knew Red chiefly through his weekly chats with Bob Edwards at NPR’s Morning Edition.  The biographies say Red died in 1992.  That was 19 years ago — it seems more recent than that.  (Edwards left Morning Edition in 2004.)

It may be ironic to show Barber at his typewriter.  He would be more accurately portrayed, perhaps, behind a microphone at a baseball park.

From 1939 through 1953 Barber served as the voice of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was working for the New York Yankees when he retired in 1966. Barber had the distinction of broadcasting baseball’s first night game on May 24, 1935 in Cincinnati and the sport’s first televised contest on August 26, 1939 in Brooklyn.

During his 33-year career Barber became the recognized master of baseball play-by-play, impressing listeners as a down-to-earth man who not only informed but also entertained with folksy colloquialisms such as “in the catbird seat,” “pea patch,” and “rhubarb” which gave his broadcasts a distinctive flavor. (Radio Hall of Fame)

More:

This is an encore post.

Some of this post, probably the best stuff on Red Barber, is an encore presentation.


Typewriter of the moment: Sports broadcaster Red Barber

November 1, 2012

Sportswriter Red Barber at his typewriter - Florida State Archives photo

Sportswriter Red Barber at his typewriter – State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/10011

The great Red Barber, when his hair was still red, working at his typewriter, with a volume of Roget’s Thesaurus close by.

Many of us knew Red chiefly through his weekly chats with Bob Edwards at NPR’s Morning Edition.  The biographies say Red died in 1992.  That was 19 years ago — it seems more recent than that.  (Edwards left Morning Edition in 2004.)

It may be ironic to show Barber at his typewriter.  He would be more accurately portrayed, perhaps, behind a microphone at a baseball park.

From 1939 through 1953 Barber served as the voice of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was working for the New York Yankees when he retired in 1966. Barber had the distinction of broadcasting baseball’s first night game on May 24, 1935 in Cincinnati and the sport’s first televised contest on August 26, 1939 in Brooklyn.

During his 33-year career Barber became the recognized master of baseball play-by-play, impressing listeners as a down-to-earth man who not only informed but also entertained with folksy colloquialisms such as “in the catbird seat,” “pea patch,” and “rhubarb” which gave his broadcasts a distinctive flavor. (Radio Hall of Fame)

More:


Ty Cobb’s 4,000th hit, July 18, 1927

July 18, 2012

Once again, this comes directly from the Library of  Congress’s great “Today in History” site.

You’ve seen the news, about the discovery of a complete set of baseball cards in an attic in Defiance, Ohio.  The collection should make its owners very, very rich.  It includes rare cards of Honus Wagner, and Ty Cobb, The Georgia Peach.

Ty Cobb, the Georgia Peach

Cobb Triptych
Hugh Jennings/Ty Cobb
Left: Hugh Jennings
Center: Ty Cobb Steals Third
Right: Ty Cobb, 1912.
Baseball Cards, 1887-1914

On July 18, 1927, Ty Cobb recorded his 4,000th career hit. Cobb finished out his Major League Baseball career in 1928 with a grand total of 4,191 hits. Cobb stood as the all-time hit leader until his total was surpassed by Pete Rose in 1985.

Cobb and Jackson
Ty Cobb, Detroit, and Joe Jackson, Cleveland,
circa 1913.
Jackie Robinson and Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s

Cobb began his professional career at the age of eighteen with the Detroit Tigers with which he played twenty-two of his twenty-four seasons. Like the careers of baseball greats Pete Rose and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Cobb’s was marred by scandal. He was allowed to resign in 1926 in lieu of being banned for alleged gambling violations. However, Cobb was subsequently exonerated and reinstated by baseball’s first commissioner, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

Cobb, born on December 18, 1886, in Narrows, Georgia, and nicknamed “The Georgia Peach,” was known for his temper as well as for his outstanding athletic ability. He stole home fifty-four times—fifty times with the Detroit Tigers and four times with the Philadelphia Athletics, won twelve batting average titles, and managed the Detroit Tigers for six seasons while also playing center field. His lifetime batting average was .367. Cobb made use of his reputation as an aggressive (often dirty) base runner to intimidate infielders, stealing 892 bases during his professional career. Ty Cobb was one of the first five players elected to the in Cooperstown, New York, in 1936, along with Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner.

Chas O'Leary and Tyrus Cobb    Chas O'Leary and Tyrus Cobb

Chas. O’Leary and Tyrus Cobb,
1912.
Baseball Cards, 1887-1914
This baseball card featuring Chas O’Leary and Tyrus Cobb, produced by the American Tobacco Company in 1912, shows Cobb sliding into third base. Click on the back of the card to read a description of Cobb’s base running statistics.

For more about baseball and its legendary players, search the following American Memory collections:


Hallowed ground: Why other nations think we’re nuts

August 20, 2010

Scott Hanley at Angular Unconformities used Google Earth to see how other nations deal with the placement of potentially-offensive installations near the sites of their great national calamaties.

Charles Krauthammer pushed the argument to the shark-jumping bridge in his regular column at the Washington Post:

When we speak of Ground Zero as hallowed ground, what we mean is that it belongs to those who suffered and died there — and that such ownership obliges us, the living, to preserve the dignity and memory of the place, never allowing it to be forgotten, trivialized or misappropriated.

That’s why Disney’s 1993 proposal to build an American history theme park near Manassas Battlefield was defeated by a broad coalition that feared vulgarization of the Civil War (and that was wiser than me; at the time I obtusely saw little harm in the venture). It’s why the commercial viewing tower built right on the border of Gettysburg was taken down by the Park Service. It’s why, while no one objects to Japanese cultural centers, the idea of putting one up at Pearl Harbor would be offensive.

We noted on another thread that there is, in fact, a Japanese Cultural Center at Pearl Harbor.  Hanley wonders how the Japanese deal with reminders of the being the victims of the first atomic bomb used in warfare — a topic upon which the Japanese are understandably extremely sensitive.

Go to the photos, see what Hanley found:

Hallowed ground

Baseball and 7-Eleven, symbols of American cultural imperialism at the site of the world’s first nuclear assault. McDonald’s, by contrast, maintains a discreet 2000′ distance across the river.

This campaign against a Moslem cultural center in lower Manhattan is the prototypical example of where the “Ugly American” myth gets its roots. Hanley’s analysis is incredibly simple, no?


Foul ball! OUCH!

June 9, 2010

Rangers Ballpark panorama, 6-8-2010, Rangers v Mariners - IMGP2029 - photo by Ed Darrell, use permitted with attribution

"Hmmm. Sitting here, we might be able to catch a . . . FOUL BALL!" Click thumbnail for larger view

Kathryn scored some great seats, with great parking pass.  Rangers ran away with the game, eventually, beat the Mariners 7-1.

Just after I took this panoramic shot, I thought I should put the camera away in case a foul ball should come our way.

And then it did.  Fast!

I got a bruise on my left thigh where the little spinning devil first hit, but it spun away and bounced about three rows in back of us.  On the way it took out the nachos of the guy next to us.  Whoever got the ball probably got a cheesy surprise.

I have the bruise, but lost the ball.

Another surprise: The brätwursts down on the lower level of the Ballpark at Arlington are pretty good — not so good as the bräts at Miller Stadium in Milwaukee last June, but very good.


We live in truly historic times

September 17, 2008

My children lived to see a Boston Red Sox win in the World Series, already in their short lives.

100-year old Cubs fan Richard Savage, who saw the Cubs lose the World Series to the Boston Red Sox in 1918, hopes to see the Cubs win a World Series - AARP Bulletin Today

100-year old Cubs fan Richard Savage, who saw the Cubs lose the World Series to the Boston Red Sox in 1918, hopes to see the Cubs win a World Series - AARP Bulletin Today

More history is being writtenCould this be the Chicago Cubs’ year?  Their magic number is 4, after the Cubbies defeated the Brewers, 5-4, behind Kerry Woods’ ninth-inning heroics.

With the triumph, the Cubs pushed Milwaukee nine games back in the National League Central race and a half-game behind the New York Mets in the wild-card playoff race while reducing their own magic number to four.

“We just figure if we keep winning ballgames, good things will come for us,” Dempster said. “Don’t get caught up in the standings or numbers or anything like that. Just come to the ballpark and try to win every day. This is big.”

The Cubs last won the World Series in 1908.

More good news: Changes in the balloting procedures for the Baseball Hall of Fame improve the chances of previously-overlooked heroes like Ron Santo.

Now, about that Triple Crown . . . or even that one.


Cubs’ Rick Monday saved the American flag

April 29, 2008

Odds are high that readers of any blog are too young to remember. Heck, I’d forgotten about it until Matthew Tabor reminded me.

April 25, 1976: Rick Monday, center fielder for the Chicago Cubs, saved the U.S. flag.

Rick Monday snatches the U.S. flag from burning

Get the story from Tabor’s blog. He offers credits to HotAir.com.

Major League Baseball was kind enough to preserve the story, which you may watch below.

Resources:


%d bloggers like this: