Friday, April 14, 2006

This Day in Futility: 1925 Edition

According to Pat Hughes, on April 14, 1925, WGN (Chicago, AM 720) broadcast the first regular-season Chicago Cubs game mojoed over the invisible airwaves (crackling with life), which happened to be a Cubs victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Of course, as many people know (or can fake if they got the Google), the very first radio play-by-play broadcast of an MLB game was by KDKA (Pittsburgh, AM 1020), a Pirates-Phillies game aired on August 5, 1921.

On the date of that first Cubs broadcast, April 14, 1925, Studs Terkel was just over a month shy of his 13th birthday.

Lest you question WGN's business judgment in choosing to wirelessly disseminate an account of the lowly Cubs when none had bothered to do so previously -- and at a time during which its parent corporation didn't even own the team, yet -- remember that, in 1925, it had only been 17 years since the last Cubs championship (1908, and how sweet the memories ... ah yes, as I recall, the Chicago nine handsomely squelched the ambitions of the Tigers of Detroit, winning four games to Detroit's one). And they did make it to the World Series in 1910 (losing to the Philles in 5 games ... damn you, Pennsylvania!) and 1918 (losing to the Red Sox in 6 ... damn you, Massassachahusetts!). The Pirates, on the other hand, went on to win the World Series in 1925, besting the Washington Senators in a 7-game phantasmagoria.

The Cubs remained an actual, real professional baseball team for a while, at least if occasionally making it to the Fall Classic qualifies a team for that status. Their next World Series appearances came in 1929 (where they lost to the Philadelphia Athletics in 5 ... Penna., you are really pushing it!), 1932 (fell in 4 to the Yankees, whom I believe Pope Benedict excoriated in a Good Friday uhh en-pope-ular or whatever they call it, so I don't need to say more about them), 1935 (Tigers won in 6 -- the revenge must have been sweet, delayed though it was by 27 trips around the sun), 1938 (fuck you Yanks, I won't even specify how many games it took, but one is surprised that they didn't find a way to do it in 3), and 1945 (Tigers victorious in 7 ... rubbing it in for the 10-year reunion).

And after that, bupkis.


Well, anyway, in honor of this day, which we'll call a milestone anniversary in the field of broadcasting, regardless of the Chicago National League Ball Club's wretched fecklessness, the CBRAT loser's lounge will be serving Ron Santo Grilled-Cheese Sammitches (on English Muffins, naturally) all evening long, free of charge, and gratis, too.

Eat all you want, but please, want all you eat.

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