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Thursday, April 29, 2004

Baseball and Disruptive Technology
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Just started reading the new biography of Ted Williams by Leigh Montville on the plane back to Denver. Seems that Tom Yawkey was slow to take a ken to this new-fangled medium, TV:

"I started doing Red Sox games in 1951," broadcaster Curt Gowdy says. "We used three cameras to cover the entire game. One from first base, one from third, one behind the plate. I went to [owner] Tom Yawkey at the end of the season and said, 'I think we could use a fourth camera from centerfield to show the balls and strikes. I think it would be a great addition.'
"Yawkey surprised me. He didn't want it. He said television coverage would become too good. People would stay home from the ballpark. We didn't get it."
[p. 4]

I am not sure there is any profound insight for public policy in the inability of businesses to adapt to new media. I think the market will work this out over time and reward those with the clairvoyance to realize its import and commercial potential.

And, so far, the biography of Williams is quite compelling. It almost makes me able to stand the American League, but of course this was before that Jacobin innovation, the DH.

posted by Ray Gifford @ 11:45 PM | General

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