Reds-Dodgers Played First Televised Baseball Game
On this date in TV Kiese History…
Aug. 26, 1939: The Cincinnati Reds played the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first televised Major League Baseball game seen by the few people with TV sets in the New York City area 76 years ago today.
Red Barber, who started his professional sports announcing career doing Reds radio for Crosley Broadcasting’s WLW-AM and WSAI-M, broadcast the game on NBC’s experimental TV station W2XBS.
During the game from Ebbets Field, Barber also did the first TV commercial -- for Procter & Gamble’s Ivory Soap.
Earlier in the year, RCA first introduced television at the New York World’s Fair.
Crosley’s iconoscope cameras also were on display at the New York World’s Fair, according to the late Crosley engineer Cal Bopp. General Electric, Westinghouse and General Motors demonstrated television there too, says earlytelevision.org.
Walter Lanier “Red” Barber left the Reds after five seasons for New York to broadcast for the Dodgers (1939-53) and New York Yankees (1954-66). He was named CBS Radio sports director in 1946. He's also known on the WVXU-FM airwaves for his weekly chats with NPR “Morning Edition” host Bob Edwards from 1981 until Barber's death in 1992.
Barber and fellow former Yankees announcer Mel Allen were the first broadcasters presented the Ford C. Frick Award by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.