Center Field Shot: A History of Baseball on Television

Synopsis

In Baseball Weekly 's list of things that most affected baseball in the twentieth century, television ranked second-behind only the signing of Jackie Robinson. The new medium of television exposed baseball to a genuinely national audience; altered the financial picture for teams, owners, and players; and changed the way Americans followed the game. Center Field Shot explores these changes-all even more prominent in the first few years of the twenty-first century-and makes sense of their meaning for America's pastime. Center Field Shot traces a sometimes contentious but mutually beneficial relationship from the first televised game in 1939 to the new era of Internet broadcasts, satellite radio, and high-definition TV, considered from the perspective of businessmen collecting merchandising fees and advertising rights, franchise owners with ever more money to spend on talent, and broadcasters trying to present a game long considered "unfriendly" to television. Ultimately the association of baseball with television emerges as a reflection of-perhaps even a central feature of-American culture at large.

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