Thursday, June 12, 2008

1948 in Wrigley

Throwback uniform days are pretty cool. This is cooler:
When you turn on the Cubs and Braves game Thursday, don't panic. There's nothing wrong with your TV set. The teams will turn back the clock in honor of the 60th anniversary of Cubs baseball on WGN in the first throwback game at Wrigley Field. The plan is to begin the television broadcast in black-and-white, not color . . . The game should be a treat for TV viewers, who can watch the first two innings in black and white with fewer camera angles. The telecast will try to go without a center-field camera and use basic graphics at the start, and then add a camera or another technical advancement as the game progresses. Commentators Len Kasper and Bob Brenly will don appropriate 1948 garb in the booth.
It's actually going on right now. If anyone is watching, let me know how it looked. I'm most curious about the camera angles thing. I've always loved those high shots from old footage, but those are usually limited to home run shots or something. I'm curious as to how it's playing out over a series of pitches and innings.

As for the throwbacks, with the exception of pinstripes, the current Cubs' garb isn't all that different from the 1948 model. And actually, neither are the Braves'.

UPDATE: Tim Dierkes is watching the game:
At first it seemed fun. But actually watching the game with the old school camera angles pretty much sucked. At most times, you could not see the baseball. You could also not tell what was a ball or a strike. Or distinguish the players from each other. They only did two innings of it but the novelty wore off quickly. It's like sitting in the upper deck but not actually being at the stadium.

Thanks, Tim. Given how much farther away upper deck shots look on TV than they are in real life, this was probably a major, major drag.

6 comments:

Levi Stahl said...

Early in the radio broadcast today Ron Santo, having realized there was no replay to consult following a play, grumbled.

"You're not fully in the spirit of the day yet, Ron?" asked Pat Hughes.

"No I am not," huffed Ron.

Tim Dierkes said...

At first it seemed fun. But actually watching the game with the old school camera angles pretty much sucked. At most times, you could not see the baseball. You could also not tell what was a ball or a strike. Or distinguish the players from each other. They only did two innings of it but the novelty wore off quickly. It's like sitting in the upper deck but not actually being at the stadium.

Mac said...

It was almost as much of a nightmare as the ninth and eleventh innings.

Jason said...

Here are a few pictures I snapped for the guys at BravesJournal:

http://i32.tinypic.com/2jchh0h.jpg - Shows off the "classic" typography used for batter information (and, I can only assume, pitcher stats, as well)

http://i30.tinypic.com/34ox6io.jpg -- The absolutely terrible camera angle in question.

Chipmaker said...

Fox did this same stunt on the Saturday game a few years ago (2005, 2006). Each inning or two, they (re-)introduced more recent technology, so there was a 1930s inning, a 1940s, 1950s, etc. Including all the iconography on screen.

It was interesting, but made following the game impossible.

Levi Stahl said...

"It was interesting, but it made following the game impossible."

I assume that problem was worst when they reached the innovations of the aughts, with zombie cam and those robots and the sound effects and the extreme close-ups of nose hairs and the Tim McCarver?