Capturing the Story
Entering the exhibit area itself, visitors will see artifacts presented in a pair of stylized press boxes, an early era one showing Philadelphia’s old Shibe Park and a newer one that overlooks old Yankee Stadium. Paralleling the layout in an actual press box, the upper level of each case contains the items related to the writing press, the “scribes,” and in the lower level shows the tools used by the broadcasters, the “mikemen.”
Harold Arlin, working from Pittsburgh’s venerable Forbes Field, called baseball’s first game on the radio on Aug. 5, 1921. The broadcaster’s tools have barely changed in the 90 years since: a microphone and a scorebook. Today’s announcers may use more colored pens than their predecessors did, but the basic formula remains constant. In light of that, the Hall displays examples of the microphones or other items from influential or well-known broadcasters.
For three decades, beginning in the mid-1920s, Ted Husing was one of the giants of sportscasting. Credited with being one of the first great play-by-play men, he was chosen by commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis to cover the World Series from 1929 to 1934. In that era, the commissioner picked the broadcaster, then told the networks whom he had chosen to work baseball’s biggest games. An opinionated and absolutely self-assured announcer, Husing was later banned by Landis from calling future World Series for criticizing the umpires in the 1934 Fall Classic.