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:


Rush Limbaugh and Fort Worth, Texas

October 20, 2011

To complain about the horrific defense of the child maiming, rape-sowing, war-crimes committing “Lord’s Resistance Army” made by Rush Limbaugh the other day, I sought out the Dallas-Fort Worth station that carries the program.  Limbaugh’s show is carried on WBAP-AM in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  So I dropped an e-mail to the station to ask if they support Rush’s views, and asking how they will try to rein in the rogue talker.

No answer, yet, of course.

But on the way I ran into something that made me laugh, even if you don’t find it funny.

I went to Limbaugh’s site to check for transcripts, and to find which station in this area carries his program (no, I am not a regular listener by any stretch.

WBAP-AM 1320 was one of the early “clear channel” stations in the U.S., a 50,000-watt powerhouse whose signal could cover from San Francisco to just west of the Appalachians on a night with the appropriate weather.  25 years ago truckers used it as a beacon (and may still for all I know — I’ve not ridden with the long-haul truckers since I got to Texas).  It’s a famous station, and Rush Limbaugh should be flattered that they would carry his excrement  program.

So I found “Texas,” and I found WBAP listed in Fort Worth (no one else in Dallas).  Here’s the line the listing was on, copied from Limbaugh’s site; click on “WBAP” and see where you go:

Fort Worth WBAP-AM 820 M-F 11a-2p

It says “WBAP-AM” in Fort Worth, Texas; but it takes you to WBAB, 102.3 FM on Long Island, New York.  WBAB 102.3 is a rock ‘n roll station.  It ain’t WBAP-AM 1320 in Fort Worth, not by a longhorn steer’s horn spread.

I wonder how long the Limbaugh show has had the wrong URL for the station in Fort Worth, and I wonder if it has made any difference in listeners getting through or advertisers.  I wonder how long it will remain with the wrong URL, and whether anyone cares at WBAP, WBAB, or the Limbaugh show.

Maybe I should just write directly to the “license renewal file” at the FCC.


Why conservative talk makes more money than liberal talk: No thinking (is it true?)

January 15, 2011

Some say the success of conservative radio can be traced to 1987 when the Reagan administration put an end to the Fairness Doctrine, making it easier for broadcasters to be one-sided. Others cite the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which led to mega-chains of stations and the widespread duplication of successful formats – including conservative talk radio – which gradually took over the stronger radio outlets in most markets.

Peter Funt, of Candid Camera

Peter Funt, of Candid Camera

But such arguments really overlook the simpler truths of the matter: conservative broadcasters serve an audience that is often angry and easily stirred, that wants to be reinforced more than challenged, and that doesn’t always feel compelled to slavishly adhere to the facts of a matter.

More importantly, conservative broadcasters across the dial are vastly more entertaining than their liberal counterparts. Limbaugh and Beck are polished performers, with enough shtick in the tank to keep truckers engrossed over the long haul, or to rouse tired shift workers on the drive to and from home. Indeed, the daring diatribe of the right is so compelling that it often seems as if the most dedicated listeners of conservative broadcasters are their progressive competitors.

Peter Funt of Candid Camera, at the Cagle Post (Cagle Cartoons)


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