Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

This Will Be The Most Interesting Baseball Video You Watch Today

The grammar for how baseball is broadcast on television is not an obvious one, as the sport's irregularly-shaped field and rapidly-changing scenes of action makes it the most challenging to televise. Today we take for granted how baseball is supposed to "look," but the man responsible for crafting the game's broadcast standards is undoubtedly director Harry Coyle.

Coyle, who died in 1996, directed 36 World Series and 27 All-Star Games. His New York Times obit rifles off his list of innovations ranging from the center field camera behind pitchers to the use of player reaction closeups. (The famous shot of Carlton Fisk waving his arms to keep his game-winning homer in the 1975 World Series was all Coyle's doing.)

But while Coyle's adeptness at integrating new technologies to sports on TV—from color, to graphics, to instant replay—made him a legend, it's his brilliance at understanding how to share baseball with viewers when deprived of all those things that we're presenting here today. This clip, from the end of a June 26, 1982 NBC broadcast at Fenway between the Brewers and Red Sox, features a power outage that leaves Coyle with only one camera (and an operator named Mario) to air the rest of the game. We're given the privilege of listening in on Harry Coyle and his crew as they make the most of the few resources on hand—and his work here is simply spectacular.


Update (October 3): This is actually the work of longtime sports TV producer Rick Reed, whose site is full of these terrific moments.

[Classic Sports Media]

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