NYC Throw Back Thursday 1947: The First Televised World Series Yankees v. Dodgers

The New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers square off in the first televised World Series on September 30, 1947. Using Membit, we bring the location back to life

This image of Ebbet’s Field is viewable in Brooklyn on the Membit app. Membit is a new augmented reality app that gives you a way to share the past with the present and a way to share the present with the future. It’s so new it isn’t even in the App Store yet, it’s in beta. If you would like to try it out before everyone else, click here

On September 30, 1947 New York City played host to the first televised World Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The Series was only transmitted to New York City, Philadelphia, Schenectady and Washington, DC because early television stations where coaxially inter-connected, greatly limiting their range. President Truman watched parts of the series from the Oval Office just shortly after making his own first television appearance on October 5.

1947 World Series televised highlights. Don’t adjust your screens folks, that’s how great the quality was.  Source: GraysSportsAlmanac via YouTube

Billboard Magazine from October of 1947 reported that there were 3.9 million viewers primarily watching on sets in bars. New York City made up 5400 of those bar sets alone. The September 30, 1947 New York Times reported:

“For the first time in history the series will be televised and this at least is a boon to the thousands who strove unsuccessfully to obtain tickets to the games. Hotels and bars throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn are planning to do a smashing business. One Flatbush bar, with an eye to caution, was reported setting up two television sets in different rooms, one for Yankee fans, the other for Dodger adherents, by way of eliminating possible emotional outbursts that might get out of hand.”

Games one and five were broadcast by NBC and games three and four were broadcast by CBS both radio broadcasting companies who were venturing out into the burgeoning field of television. Games two, six and seven were broadcast by the DuMont company. The DuMont Television Network was a partner company of Paramount Pictures and poised to be a major rival to CBS and NBC. They even had their own line of television sets. The network was said to help solidify television technology but was never financially sound. To save money DuMont was forced to expand on UHF channels when UHF was not standard on most home sets and by 1956 they stopped broadcasting and shut their operations down.

dumont-tv-nytimes-adAn ad for the DuMont teleset which ran in the September 30, 1947 New York Times. DuMont, set to rival CBS and NBC collapsed because of financial hardships in 1956. Source: The New York Times.  

Besides the television broadcast this series contained other historic firsts. That season the Dodgers had signed on Jackie Robinson making them the first racially integrated team in major league baseball, which in turn made the 1947 World Series the first with an African American player in the line-up. The 1947 series also used six umpires to make calls whereas Series from 1918-1946 used four.

Yankees team photo for the 1947 season. The team included such greats as Joe DiMaggio, Phil Ruzzuto and Yogi Berra. Source: Golden Baseball Magazine

The seven-game series was played four times at Yankee Stadium and three times at Ebbets Field featuring such Hall of Famers as the aforementioned Jackie Robinson, Bucky Harris, Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, and famed pitcher Yankee’s Yogi Berra. The Yankees won the Series four games to three making it their first title in four years.

1947-brooklyn-dodgers-team-photoThe Brooklyn Dodgers team photo for the 1947 season. This team made history that year by being the first racially integrated Major League baseball team by signing on Jackie Robinson. Source: Golden Baseball Magazine.

Both stadiums in the Series are now history themselves. Yankees Stadium in the Bronx was built in 1923 and closed in 2008. It was torn down in 2010 after the 2009 opening of the new and much larger Yankee Stadium next door. Ebbets Field was built on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn in 1913 and demolished in 1957 when the Dodgers relocated to Los Angeles. It is now home to the Jackie Robinson Apartments named after the player when he died in 1972. It is said that the design of Citi Field’s facade in Flushing, Queens was directly influenced by Ebbets Field.

Ebbets-Field-Membit-VideoAn Ebbets Field Membit onto the current location

Next, check out 10 of NYC’s lost and former sporting venues and see the remnants of Ebbets Field.

 Brooklyn Dodgers, Membit, NY Yankees, Today in NYC History

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