Radio has brought the sounds of baseball into homes for almost 100 years, helping baseball emerge from the 1919 Black Sox scandal into the glorious World Series of the 1920s. The medium gave fans around the country aural access to the first All-Star Game, Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech, and Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ’Round the World.” Red Barber, Vin Scully, Harry Caray, Ernie Harwell, Bob Uecker, and dozens of other beloved announcers helped cement the love affair between radio and the national pastime.
Crack of the Bat takes listeners from the 1920s to the present, examining the role of baseball in the development of the radio industry and the complex coevolution of their relationship.
Despite cable television’s ubiquity, live video streaming, and social media, radio remains an important medium through which fans engage with their teams. The evolving relationship between baseball and radio intersects with topics as varied as the 20-year battle among owners to control radio, the development of sports as a valuable media product, and the impact of competing technologies on the broadcast medium.
The book is published by University of Nebraska Press. The audiobook was published by University Press Audiobooks.