Back to the Future

After a night of watching Randy Johnson get shelled in his worst outing as a Diamondback, I wasn’t sure I was up to watching any baseball today, especially a game featuring the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs. I am always somewhat confused about how the Fox network determines who they will feature in their game of the week. I mean outside of LA and Chicago, this game has very little meaning. Yeah, the Dodgers have been hot lately winning their last five games, but they are still 9 games out with a month left to play. Besides, Gary Sheffield is serving his suspension from the last time these teams met in Chicago. By game time though, I had decided watching the Cubs was better than not watching any baseball. I turned the television on and sat on the couch. I had not expected Fox to do their tribute to the history of televising baseball. At the beginning of the game, they had a half an inning using cameras and microphones from 1939. I cannot imagine watching an entire season like that. The bottom half of the inning was presented as if from 1944. The game continued as new innovations were shown in television broadcasting. From 1953 to 1961 you could see how far technology had come. Then in 1969 when baseball was first televised in color (I use the term loosely). Then 1974 and 1985 as computerized graphics and the split screen were institutionalized. Finally, there was 1996 when Fox began broadcasting the game of the week. It was fascinating and riveting and I found myself reminiscing about all that had happened in my lifetime. I began to appreciate how lucky we are today. We have more camera angles and better sound than many who venture to the game. My only regret is that Fox did not take this idea one step further and show us what a game would be like using High Definition television. Granted, there are millions of households who cannot yet see this distinction, but there are also many who can. I for one would be interested in seeing what the future of baseball broadcasting will look like.


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