This Day in Baseball History: April 14th, 1925

Isn’t he cute?

On April 14, 1925:

WGN broadcasts its first game.

On May 19, 1922, Thorne Donnelly and Elliot Jenkins started a radio station called WDAP. Almost a year later, the Zenith Radio Company started a competing company called WJAZ. Ten months after that, the Tribune Company took over WJAZ, but they took the call sign WGN to match their slogan of “World’s Greatest Newspaper”. But the call sign was not official or on the license. Two months later, the Tribune Company and the Zenith Radio Company decided to part ways, with the Tribune Company taking the WDAP license and the Zenith Radio Company switching to WEBH. I don’t understand any of this, but a month later, the Tribune Company finally licensed the call letters WGN. However, on the rolls, it was “W-G-N” and became the only radio station to use hyphens.

WGN became an instant success with new and creative programming. It was the first to broadcast the Indianapolis 500. It gave a live broadcast of the Scopes Monkey Trial. Finally, it began broadcasting Cubs games in 1925. In that first game, the Cubs and Grover Alexander took down the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-2 on Opening Day.

Later in 1948, WGN the TV station began its relationship with the Cubs. The station had a relationship with every Chicago team except the Chicago Bears. The relationship between WGN and the Chicago Cubs grew in 1981 when the Tribune Company bought the Chicago Cubs. In the same year, Harry Caray took over for Jack Brickhouse, who had done numerous Cubs and White Sox games. Caray had been a broadcaster for the White Sox before being lured to the Dark (I mean North) Side. The White Sox had ended their relationship with WGN in 1981, but they came back in 1990 when Jerry Reinsdorf took advantage of owning two teams and signed a deal with WGN to broadcast White Sox and Chicago Bulls games.

Trivia Time
When did Steve Stone become Caray’s broadcast partner?

Yesterday’s Answer –> Pete Rose (4,256), Ty Cobb (4,189) and Hank Aaron (3,771)


One Response to “This Day in Baseball History: April 14th, 1925”

  1. Josh Says:

    I am a bit surprised to hear that Harry Caray did not call games back in 1925. 🙂

    What a bummer.


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