Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Bird watching

Our family recently returned home from a vacation in Branson, where my husband and I watched the Cardinals on Fox Sports Midwest in our motel room.  It made me realize how lucky we were that even though we were miles from St. Louis, we could still watch the games on TV.  Previous generations of baseball fans were not that lucky.

In order to follow the Cardinals from baseball’s beginnings to the late 1920’s, you either had to go to the games yourself or read the box score in the daily newspaper.  KMOX first started broadcasting Cardinals games in 1926 with the Cardinals-Yankees World Series, and began regular broadcasts of Cardinals games the following season[1].

Until 1958, the Cardinals were the only baseball team west of the Mississippi.  KMOX’s powerful broadcast signal covered most of the Midwest and on a clear night, into the West as well.  There are many stories of boys listening under their covers to a late night Cardinals game and becoming lifelong fans in the process.  The halcyon tones of Jack Buck and Harry Caray, and later, Jack Buck and Mike Shannon, narrated the game as it was happening, much as Mike Shannon and John Rooney do today. Their vivid descriptions and verbal flourishes made us feel like we were right there at the ball park.   The radio broadcasts of Cardinals games were taken over by KTRS in 2005[2].  In 2011, Cardinals games were once again broadcast by KMOX.

Cardinals games were first broadcast on TV in 1949 on KSD-TV, the first TV channel in the Midwest[3].  If you were an out-of-market fan, you could watch the Cards play on the Game of the Week on NBC, if it was their turn to be televised.  World Series games were televised for the first time in 1947, and for the first time in color in 1955.[4]

KSD broadcast Cardinals games until 1988.  KPLR took over broadcasting the Cardinals games in 1988 until 2006.  KPLR also broadcast games from 1959 through 1962.  From 2008-2010, KSDK once again broadcast games, which were Sunday home games.  Fox Sports Midwest broadcast all the other Cardinals games.  Fox Sports Midwest took over broadcasting all the Cards games in 2011[5].

You have many options to follow the Cards today if you are an out-of-market fan.  KMOX’s signal broadcasts throughout the Midwest, or you can listen to the Cardinals Baseball Network station nearest you if you can’t pick up KMOX.  You can watch the Cards play on the Fox Network Game of the Week if the Cards’ game is scheduled.  ESPN also broadcasts certain Sunday night Cardinals games.  If the Cardinals get to the World Series, you can watch on the Fox network.  There are radio stations devoted to sports alone, where you can listen to baseball sports shows and call in, if you have an opinion (and who doesn’t?).

Baseball may be an old-fashioned game, but today’s technology has made baseball more accessible to the modern fan than ever before.  You can watch Cardinals games by accessing MLB.TV with your computer, iPad, or smart phone.  If you’re not at the game but miss interacting with other fans, you can go on Twitter.com and do a search for the #stlcards hashtag.  If you follow the #stlcards tweets, it’s just like being at the ballpark.  If you have a smart phone, you can even tweet from the ball game.  There are online forums where baseball is discussed and you can chime in if you’d like.  DirecTV has the Extra Innings baseball package where you can watch as many baseball games as you want.  There are blogs like this one where folks like you and me give our opinions on Cardinals baseball. There are Internet radio stations (such as Blog Talk Radio) where baseball is discussed.  There’s no doubt that in the future, there will be more technological advances that will allow us to get even closer to the game we love.

That’s all for now!  Until next time –

Go Cards!

Diane

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