First Televised Baseball Game 74 Years Ago Today

By  //  August 26, 2013

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THIS DAY IN HISTORY – History.com

On this day in 1939, the first televised Major League baseball game is broadcast on station W2XBS, the station that was to become WNBC-TV.

On this day in 1939, the first televised Major League baseball game is broadcast on station W2XBS, the station that was to become WNBC-TV. (History.com video image)

On this day in 1939, the first televised Major League baseball game is broadcast on station W2XBS, the station that was to become WNBC-TV. (History.com video image)

Announcer Red Barber called the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York.

At the time, television was still in its infancy. Regular programming did not yet exist, and very few people owned television sets–there were only about 400 in the New York area. Not until 1946 did regular network broadcasting catch on in the United States, and only in the mid-1950s did television sets become more common in the American household.

In 1939, the World’s Fair – which was being held in New York–became the catalyst for the historic broadcast. The television was one of fair’s prize exhibits, and organizers believed that the Dodgers-Reds doubleheader on August 26 was the perfect event to showcase America’s grasp on the new technology.

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