35 New Jersey Firsts – #7 – First Radio Broadcast of the World Series

by Alice Magdziak • March 12, 2014 • Sports & Leisure, Third StateComments (0)2115

New Jersey officially recognizes 1664 as the year the state was founded when land owned by the Duke of York was given to Sir George Carteret and John Lord Berkeley. That transaction record proclaimed that “said Tract of Land is hereafter to be called by the name or names of New Cesarea or New Jersey.” That makes this year New Jersey’s 350th Anniversary! To celebrate this major milestone, we’ve undertaken a project we’re calling 35 New Jersey Firsts where we highlight 35 things that first came to life in New Jersey.

wjz

photo courtesy of The WJZ Radio Project

The first radio broadcast of the World Series was transmitted live on radio station WJZ in Newark in 1921. The NL New York Giants beat the American League New York Yankees 5 games to 3 (and one tie).

On October 5th, a Newark sportswriter arranged for a telephone hookup from the Polo Grounds in Manhattan and phoned in balls and strikes to WJZ Newark. The game was broadcast from a tiny shack atop the Westinghouse building in Newark at Orange and Plane streets.

photo courtesy of nj.com

photo courtesy of nj.com

WJZ was among four pioneer stations that Westinghouse set up in 1920 and 1921. The World Series idea was employee Tommy Cowan’s. He worked for Thomas Edison in West Orange and came to Westinghouse to learn the new art of broadcasting. As the New York Giants took the field against their rivals and stadium mates, the New York Yankees, Cowan hustled to the little shack on the roof of the Westinghouse building at Orange and Plane streets and pressed a telephone to his ear. Harry Nash of The Sunday Call delivered the play-by-play into the phone and Cowan repeated it into the microphone.

Copyright, You Don’t Know Jersey, LLC (2010-2020)

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