It was seventy years ago today that Major League Baseball made it's television debut. On August 26, 1939, NBC television aired the first game on W2XBS, an experimental network broadcasting out of New York. The game took place at Ebbets Field between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds. It was a doubleheader, but only the first game, which the Reds won 5 - 2, was televised.
The announcer for the game was Red Barber. Barber was the play by play man for the Dodgers at the time. He worked the game alone and handled all of the ads by holding up the products, discussing their virtues, putting them down and going back to play by play. There were two cameras used for the game, one on the ground and one in the upper deck.
Since were only approximately 500 television sets in use at the time and because the signal only reached within a 50 mile radius, very few people actually saw the first braoadcast.
Red Barber continued on as the Dodgers broadcaster until 1953. He moved to the Yankees and retired from broadcasting baseball in 1966. NBC continued to air Major League Baseball games periodically from the 1940's through 2000.
Red Barber interviewing Leo Durocher after the game