Celebrating the 90th anniversary of the world’s first live play-by-play broadcast of a baseball game.
On August 5th, 1921 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Harold Arlin took his place in history calling the world’s first baseball game broadcast — on KDKA, the nation’s first commercial radio station. On that afternoon, Harold sat down in a box seat behind home plate at Forbes Field to watch the Pirates defeat the Phillies, 8-5. He wasn't there just to watch, though; he was also there to tell fans beyond the ballpark what he was seeing. When he opened his mouth to speak into a converted telephone he was holding, Arlin changed the way Americans would enjoy baseball, and indeed, every other sport, forever.
Harold Arlin was an engineer for Westinghouse Electric Corporation and successfully auditioned for the broadcast job, His famous baseball broadcast almost never happened because management at KDKA thought baseball was "Too boring". Actually, the broadcast further heightened interest in the game and dramatically increased attendance at the ball park.
These were other highlights in Harold Arlin's broadcast career. He was also the first to broadcast a football game, a Davis Cup tennis match and returns from the Harding-Cox presidential race. In 1923 while working a Jack Dempsey championship fight his mike went dead. When power was restored after several minutes Arlin managed to reconstruct the fight as if it were still live.
Arlin spent five years at KDKA. Listeners on several continents could pick up his broadcasts and he was given the nickname "Voice of America". In 1972, Pirate announcer Bob Prince turned the mike over to him for a few innings to let Arlin call the performance of his grandson, Steve Arlin, then pitching for the San Diego Padres.
Harold Arlin died in 1986.
The North Hills Amateur Radio Club (NHARC) of Pittsburgh, PA will commemorate the 90th anniversary this historic event with a 24 hour Special Event Station.
Using the event call sign K3D, the NHARC will be operating on both 20 meters (14.260 +/- QRM) and 40 meters (7.260 +/- QRM) on August 5, 2011 from 7am to 7am (EST)(August 6)(UTC 0300 - 0300) from the Saxonburg Museum in Roebling Park....one of the original KDKA transmitter sites.
Additional bands may be added and the time may be extended as well.
QSL Information (direct only):
For the Special Events QSL card please mail your QSL card and a SASE direct to:
201 Iola Ave.
Glenshaw, PA 15116
International QSLs require a valid IRC. If an IRC is not included, QLS cards will be sent via bureau.
LOTW and eQSL will not be used.
Check back closer to the activation date for any changes.