October 30, 2013

St. Louis Cardinals Radio Signal Going, Going ...: At a time when other newspapers have trouble keeping enough staff to cover city council meetings, during game 4 of the World Series the New York Times had David Waldstein try to outdrive the signal of 50,000-watt blowtorch KMOX 1120 AM, the St. Louis station that helped turn a wide region of listeners into Cardinals fans. "The signal for the pregame show is strong and clear as I leave the parking lot," Waldstein writes at the start of the project. "Certainly no other baseball writer in the country is heading away from Busch Stadium at this moment." Hours later: "Reception is still strong as I head back across the Mississippi south of Memphis, 288 miles from home plate. The game is in the eighth inning."

posted by rcade to baseball at 05:32 PM - 16 comments

My dad and I both were born and raised in Dallas. He grew up a Cardinals fan because of this station, but I was five when the Texas Rangers came to DFW and around nine when I became a fan of baseball. Born only a few years too late to become a Cards fan, I barely escaped a lot of excellence.

It's weird to think of the Cards as the westernmost and southernmost team, which was true until Kansas City got the A's in 1955 and L.A. the Dodgers in 1958. If you loved baseball and lived in the southwest or the west, you were a long way from the Majors.

posted by rcade at 06:36 PM on October 30

I could listen to Blues and Cards game when living in Normal/Bloomington, IL.

This is the end of my comment.

posted by NoMich at 06:41 PM on October 30

Yeah, 50K Watts will go a long way. The station that broadcasts the Padres runs at that power, and the transmitter is actually located in Mexico, but I can get the station well up into LA - I think I've picked it up on the 101 in the valley, but certainly at least as far as the 10. North of there, you start running into topographic difficulties. Who knows how far down into Baja you can get it, and if you have a station like that broadcasting in the relatively flat Midwest...

posted by LionIndex at 07:03 PM on October 30

Because of optimal weather conditions, I picked up a Blues game one winter night during my time at university...

...in Waterloo, Ontario.

posted by grum@work at 11:29 PM on October 30

Ah, the days of AM radio ... when one could pick up games, including the Cardinals and Blues, in the eastern half of the country from New Jersey.

I used to be able to pick up Argo games when they were on CFRB-1010 and its shortwave station. I'm still in New Jersey, but all I have now are the Tiger-Cats and Blue Jays on CHML-900 in Hamilton.

posted by jjzucal at 12:10 AM on October 31

My granddad and great granddad were both Cardinals fans because of KMOX. They lived in the Texas panhandle. KMOX was listened to throughout the plains states back in the day.

posted by Mothball at 03:09 PM on October 31

In my misspent youth I used to listen to one or another of the Canadian stations to catch Hockey Night in Canada on Saturdays. Living along the Massachusetts coast made it easy to get stations in the Maritimes. Later in life I was working in Columbus, Ohio, while the Bruins were in the Stanley Cup playoffs. I believe it was 1971 or 72. There were no games on TV, but I found that I could pick up the radio broadcast from WBZ in Boston if I parked in the right spot. WBZ was another 50KW clear-channel (that is, no other station in the US could occupy that frequency) whose antenna was oriented to beam westward. Since the nearest land east of the antenna farm in Hull, Mass, was Ireland, this made sense.

posted by Howard_T at 08:12 PM on October 31

As a teenager with insomnia, I used to listen to WBZ overnight and half the fun was hearing where the people were calling from. On clear nights the signal seemed to cover everything east of the Mississippi.

posted by yerfatma at 09:47 AM on November 01

After Hurricane Fran swept through Raleigh and knocked the power out over most the area for, seemingly, days on end (two solid weeks for me!), my little AM radio picked up stations from all over the South. My favorite was WSM out of Nashville. However, when electricity was restored to most of the Triangle, I went back to pulling in hardly any stations, including the AM stations in the Triangle itself.

posted by NoMich at 10:43 AM on November 01

WBZ...all night. Larry Glick, Guy Maneilla, Carl DeSuze...Jordan Rich. Steve LeVeille....David Brudnoy, Dave Maynard and Don Kent. wow America's first commercially licensed radio station. great memories

posted by Leominster at 11:45 AM on November 01

David Brudnoy

Ah, that was who I listened to all the time! Well remembered.

posted by yerfatma at 12:35 PM on November 01

The impact of the historic 2004 Red Sox championship was partially expressed through local luminary milestones.

Johnny Kelley didn't live to see it, but David Brudnoy did (just barely).

My all-night altar of worship was (Sir) Harry Abraham's jazz show on WHAM in Rochester NY entitled "Best of All Possible Worlds". He was an archetypal all-night jazz jock who had a diverse listenership that included truckers from the rural south and Trailways drivers from Rust Belt inner city neighborhoods who otherwise had very little in common.

I have run into fellow listeners of his show under the damndest circumstances.

posted by beaverboard at 01:28 PM on November 01

Either McCarver or Buck said during game 6 that no one in the stands at Fenway saw the 1918 clincher, which made me wonder whether that's definitely true. There could be a 100-year-old fan who remembers seeing the game at age 5.

posted by rcade at 01:54 PM on November 01

Probably a safe bet on their part. For it to not be true, the person would have had to be there for both nights, and it being Boston, the media would have been all over it. Think about it, the right word to the media and the Red Sox would have been providing free tickets for the fan.

posted by Mothball at 02:21 PM on November 01

I still don't understand why the hell they focused so much on 1918. It seemed weird to me and I'm a Sox fan.

posted by yerfatma at 02:22 PM on November 01

1918 was a thing in 2004... when the real streak was still alive. Years without a championship is noteworthy. Noting years since the fans have been able to celebrate a title won at home just ignores the other recent championships and makes them sound spoiled. It's a good thing the Sox didn't win in 5 games so they could get that monkey off their back.

posted by bender at 03:04 PM on November 01

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