Sunday, January 29, 2006

Channel 38 WSBK Boston Has Gone Sox-less

For the first time since 1983, channel 38, which used to be a fixture in the Hartford cable market until the turn of the century (that sounds odd), will not have any Sox games to broadcast. And that's sad, even though the channel has been unavailable here in north central Connecticut for a good while. But the memories of channel 38 being the Red Sox flagship station linger, and some of them linger on as a part of my video library. Roger's 20 strikeout game in '86, Yaz day in 1983. Who could ever forget him trotting around the ballpark, right arm and hand raised to touch as many fans as he could. I was there that day, but had tape running at home. And for an almost 23 year old video tape, it looks damn good. As does the one hour recap show of the 20 strikeout game by Roger, a tape I take out once a year, usually before Spring training ends and the season begins, hoping some of that pitching magic will rub off on the current team's pitchers. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes not. Those were both channel 38 games, with Ned "Oh mercy" Martin and Bob Montgomery making the calls. Ned Martin, along with Ken Coleman, remain my all-time favorite Sox announcers, especially when they were paired for radio. They were magic together, painting images inside your brain as clear as if you were sitting 8 feet from a high definition plasma screen while their voices carried the emotions of the ageless game itself. Oh, those were great days.
So I find sadness in this news that WSBK is out of the baseball business, as baseball moves closer and closer to owning every media venue the fans have access to. And I feel badly for that 5-10% of the people in the Boston area that do not have cable. But not as badly as for my portal to so many nights of jubilation, tears, sudden fits of crazy contortions of joy, and slumping sadness. Thank you WSBK38 Boston. Good job. As George Harrison said, "All things must pass. All things must pass away."


At 1/29/2006 7:10 PM, Blogger Jere said...

Did somebody say Ken Coleman?

I also remember those two games: Listening on the radio in my room at age eight to Yaz' last at bat, being really mad that they went 3-0 to him, and forcing him to swing at a high pitch, which he popped up.

As for the first 20K game, my Uncle Guido called us and asked if we wanted tickets to Fenway Park. This was literally the only time he ever made this type of offer to this day. That being a Tuesday, we had to decline the offer, since I had school the next day, and Boston was 2.5 hours away. I do remember the hype leading up to the kid's next start, and watching it on channel 30 out of Hartford, as they picked up Channel 38's Friday and Sunday games, and that game was a Sunday. ( I remember because I watched part of the game from the kitchen chair where my mom would cut my hair, which was always done on a Sunday.)

At 1/30/2006 10:27 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

It must be great to have an Uncle Guido! And I was at the Clemens' first 20 KO game, as well as Yaz day Lucky guy. It being a Tuesday, I had work, but owning a business has its advantages. An official day off was declared
As for Yaz day, I do remember the Saturday night before the game was a late one for me, and I really wasn't fully alert until the sight of the green grass of Fenway stirred my dulled senses. I cried too.

At 1/30/2006 11:45 PM, Blogger Jere said...

He's actually my mom's uncle, my great uncle, which is why she calls him Uncle Guido. In the book.

At 4/12/2006 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sad that TV38 won't be broadcasting at least the Friday Night games. There will only be 8 games this year on over-the-air TV, all of them on Fox.

I don't have cable. I might be buying mlb's internet version, but I have to find someone with a credit card with a billing zipcode outside of the Boston (and NYY!!!) markets. Someone from Alaska would be purrfect.

At 4/13/2006 6:50 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

It is sad. I grew up with WSBK's Sox coverage.


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