Baseball in the 1920s
The world broke in two in 1922 or thereabouts," wrote novelist Willa Cather. 1 Gather apparently had little interest in base‐ ball—none of her numerous writings mention the game. Yet the I922 World Series pitting John McGraw's New York Giants against Babe Ruth's New York Yankees, and particularly the manner in which Americans followed its progress, endorsed Cather's vision of a world suddenly divided between a more traditional culture and a modern technological sensibility.
Throughout the United States tens of millions of people gathered, as they had for decades, in town squares, city intersections, and indoor urban arenas to witness a pitch-by-pitch recreation of World Series games on large electrical and mechanical scoreboards. A "mammoth web" of 45,000 miles of telegraph wires brought the World Series to most corners of the nation, where it was transcribed into a public display. 2 Wilmer Thomson, a Chester, Pennsylvania, resident, described the modest scoreboard erected outside the local newspaper office when he was a boy. "When a ball was pitched they would show a yellow light," he reminisced almost three-quarters of a century later. "For a strike red lights would be turned on. Blue lights would show the number of outs. The bases