On September 30, 1947, the New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 5-3, in Game 1 of the World Series—the first Fall Classic game broadcast on television. It is the second “Subway Series” between and Yankees and Dodgers and first World Series to involve a black player. Jackie Robinson of the Dodgers broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier six months earlier.
While Red Barber and Mel Allen called the game on the radio, Bob Stanton described the action on NBC.
In 1939, the first regular-season Major League Baseball game was broadcast on TV, and by 1947, television was still a luxury. Fewer than 50,000 TVs were used in the United States, mostly in bars, restaurants and private clubs in major cities on the East Coast, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported in 2012.
By contrast, millions of fans followed games on the radio. More than 73,000 fans attended Game 1 in Yankee Stadium.
The first broadcast was flawed, as sunlight and shadows obscured the view of NBC cameras, and the network’s new and cumbersome equipment broke down.
The Dodgers lost the 1947 World Series to the Yankees in seven games.
The first World Series to be broadcast in color came in 1955, when the Dodgers and Yankees met again. The Dodgers defeated the Yankees that season for their only championship while they were based in Brooklyn.