Today marks the 90th anniversary of baseball’s first radio broadcast. Way back on August 5th, 1921, the Pittsburgh Pirates played the Philadelphia Phillies at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. On any ordinary day, this particular game would not have been a hot topic in the world of sports. The Pirates were sitting atop the National League with a record of 64-35, while the Phillies sat in the basement of the National League with a record of 30-68. But this was no ordinary day.
For the first time in Major League Baseball history, baseball enthusiasts would be able to follow their favorite team without actually attending the game. The broadcast was put together by the local radio network KDKA, and the game was called by KDKA staffer Harold Arlin. While the matchup was not ideal for this historical broadcast, the game proved to be very entertaining. The Phillies and Pirates would change leads 3 times and take a tied game into the bottom of the 8th inning. The home team would score 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th, however, and the Pirates ended up winning the game 8-5. KDKA proved to be a pioneer for sports radio broadcasting. It would also broadcast the first on air boxing match (Johnny Dundee vs. Johnny Ray in April) and college football game (Pitt vs. WVU in October) that same year.