Tag Archives: Pittsburgh Pirates

Baseball and radio – they said it wouldn’t last

August 5, 1921 | PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – Major league baseball was heard on the radio for this first time on this date in 1921. KDKA radio studio announcer Harold Arlin became the first play-by-play man as he described the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ 8-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies from Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Baseball and radio – they said it wouldn’t last.

Not everyone in major league baseball welcomed the exposure on this new medium called “radio.” Many were concerned games on radio would keep fans at home rather than at the ballpark, an observation that seems shortsighted today.

Staff at KDKA looked at that first broadcast as a one-time thing; baseball would be too slow moving to become regular programming. It turned out radio’s intimacy made it and baseball an ideal match.

Radio’s portability helped too; at home, in the car, at the office, a transistor radio under the pillow. Still, it took years for many teams to recognize the marketing ability of broadcasting games. It was 1938 before major league games were regularly broadcast in New York City, the country’s largest market.

CONTRIBUTING SOURCES:
“Radio and its impact on the sports world,” by Eric C. Covil  
Baseball’s future

MAY 26 – The greatest pitching performance

*1959 | MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – What a shame! Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates took a perfect game against the Milwaukee Braves into the 13th inning on this date in 1959 – no runs, no hits, no walks, no hit-by-pitch, no nothin’.

Up until the 13th, Haddix retired every single batter, but before the inning was over he would lose the game, the perfect game and the no-hitter, 1-0.

Talk about records that may never be broken, Haddix pitched a perfect game for 12 innings! No one had ever done more than 9.

The Pirates had 12 hits that night, including one by Haddix himself, but they couldn’t muster a single run for the guy on the mound.

Haddix lost the perfect game when his 3rd baseman Don Hoak committed an error. He lost the no-hitter when Braves’ first baseman Joe Adcock doubled. He lost the game when Felix Mantilla scored from second on Adcock’s double, and the run wasn’t even earned. The game went 13 innings, but only took 2 hours and 54 minutes. Of course, there wasn’t much scoring and no pitching changes.

Did you know that the Pirates had 12 hits that night, including one by Haddix himself, but they couldn’t muster a single run for the guy on the mound?


There was another interesting thing that happened that night, Braves slugger Eddie Matthews laid down a sacrifice bunt in the 13th inning to get Mantilla to second. When’s the last time you saw a slugger (he hit over 500 home runs) lay down a sacrifice bunt – successfully at that!

CONTRIBUTING SOURCES:
May 26, 1959 Box score
The Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 27, 1959