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TV sports celebrates 75th anniversary

Nov. 14, 1943 vs. Giants Game stats: 21-for-32,

Nov. 14, 1943 vs. Giants
Game stats: 21-for-32, 433 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT Credit: AP / Herbert K. White

Just in case I leave the beat before the 100th anniversary of televised sports, I should mention now that it marked its 75th last weekend. (Thank you, Columbia Spectator, for the reminder.)

It was on May 17, 1939, that Columbia hosted Princeton in the second game of a baseball doubleheader at Baker Field, carried by W2XBS (a forerunner of WNBC) to the few hundred New York homes that had sets.

Bill Stern called the game, which was captured by a single, elevated camera along the third-base line. The future football Hall of Famer Sid Luckman played shortstop for Columbia, which lost, 2-1, in 10 innings.

Three days later Orrin Dunlap Jr., a noted radio writer of his time, reviewed the experience in The New York Times and was largely unimpressed.

“The imprisoned baseball fan becomes restless; his eyes tire,’’ Dunlap wrote. “He knows he is missing so much. His eyes cannot wander off to look at the landscape, the nearby trees and apartment-fringed skyline of upper Manhattan.

“He does not see the half of what is going on to make baseball the pleasure it has become in 100 years.’’

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