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View Full Version : When Jimmy was fired, Harry left, Hawk came and Sportsvision started


Fenway
01-11-2012, 04:30 PM
It is amazing that the Boston Globe covered the White Sox broadcasting saga in greater detail than the Chicago papers. I suspect part of the reason was Hawk but also that Einhorn knew Jack Craig had a national following in The Sporting News.

Fascinating look back.

Fenway
01-11-2012, 04:36 PM
There was also a hint that Harry was going to leave the White Sox if Jimmy was fired.

The Globe continued to follow what Einhorn planned.

Fenway
01-11-2012, 04:56 PM
As 82 turned into a disaster - Gammons unloaded on the White Sox.

and then finally Jimmy was fired for good.

Fenway
01-11-2012, 05:25 PM
I guess the most amazing part in looking at these old reports was that Einhorn actually seemed to believe that even on SportsVision more people would watch the Sox than the Cubs on Channel 9.

He thought 500,000 was a possible target?????

Meanwhile in Boston Haywood Sullivan then got rid of the another announcer that dare tell the truth. When WITS Radio went bellyup because a transmitter upgrade failed and less people could hear the station - Sullivan gave the rights to a FM station 35 miles south of Boston owned by a golf buddy.

The announcer was Jon Miller.

Brian26
01-11-2012, 07:51 PM
There was also a hint that Harry was going to leave the White Sox if Jimmy was fired.

The Globe continued to follow what Einhorn planned.

Interesting that there was a rumor that Hawk could replace LaRussa as the manager before he ever announced his first game.

Brian26
01-11-2012, 07:55 PM
As 82 turned into a disaster - Gammons unloaded on the White Sox.

and then finally Jimmy was fired for good.

No doubt in my mind that Fisk was calling out Kemp and LeFlore in that second page. Its amazing how candid players were through the media back then.

Fenway
01-11-2012, 08:03 PM
Interesting that there was a rumor that Hawk could replace LaRussa as the manager before he ever announced his first game.

The author Jack Craig passed away a couple of years ago but he was the first that covered sports media and besides his work in the Globe he was also n the Sporting News which back then was the main way to get out of market info.

Einhorn and Craig obviously had a good relationship.

Using the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis calculator this is how insane SportsVision prices were.

http://www.minneapolisfed.org/

$21.95 in 1982 would be $51.46 today for a channel on 3 hours a day.

If you added ONTV for $35 a month that would be $82.05 a month :?:

Brian26
01-11-2012, 08:09 PM
$21.95 in 1982 would be $51.46 today for a channel on 3 hours a day.

If you added ONTV for $35 a month that would be $82.05 a month :?:

If you turned your UHF dial to Channel 44 and wiggled the antenna cable in the back, sometimes you could get a black & white signal, without the sound, and the three bars down the center of the screen would move to the left. You could simulcast this with Joe McConnell and Early Wynn on WMAQ.

Fenway
01-11-2012, 08:24 PM
If you turned your UHF dial to Channel 44 and wiggled the antenna cable in the back, sometimes you could get a black & white signal, without the sound, and the three bars down the center of the screen would move to the left. You could simulcast this with Joe McConnell and Early Wynn on WMAQ.

I went to a lot of games in 1982 and JR/EE spent a fortune on Comiskey. They had the third Diamond-Vision board in the US which was simply amazing back then. They redid the upper deck where the seats below the aisle were called 'Golden Boxes' and if memory serves were $9 a game which was pricey back then.

The Tribune did pull off the master stroke in getting Harry - and threw Milo Hamilton into Lake Michigan to get him.

It is ironic that Einhorn scoffed at PRISM in Philly and Boston because it offered movies along with sports - but for your $10 a month you got Celtics, Whalers and first run movies. People did buy it and then the Red Sox and Bruins cranked up NESN in 1984.

I have never gotten a true subscriber count for Sportsvision but I heard that in mid 1982 it was around 8,000. ( and I actually was one of them )

Viva Medias B's
01-11-2012, 08:30 PM
I wonder if Einhorn was too far ahead of his time with SportsVision.

Fenway
01-11-2012, 08:46 PM
I wonder if Einhorn was too far ahead of his time with SportsVision.

EE did see the future but he tried to force it. However in one respect he was forced to gamble as the White Sox had no other place to put on a full slate of games. WGN had the Cubs- WFLD only wanted one game a week. The Hawks were totally homeless and the Bulls had a smattering of games on.

Had the City of Chicago been wired for cable they could have avoided the costly air time buy with Channel 44 but cable was still 3 years away.

He thought every bar in the city would buy the service but my recollection is few did - and then there became an active black market for homemade boxes.

Dollar Bill thought he would make a fortune with Hawksvision but savvy bar-owners with a dish quickly figured out they could get the visiting team feed in the clear bypassing the Hawks channel.

To me the biggest mistake the Sox made was selling SportsVision to Charles Dolan just as Chicago was getting cable. Had they hung on like Boston did with NESN they would be awash in cash today.

DickAllen72
01-11-2012, 09:45 PM
I wonder if Einhorn was too far ahead of his time with SportsVision.
Einhorn was just wrong.

Fenway
01-11-2012, 10:28 PM
Einhorn was just wrong.

No - he was simply ahead of his time.

The TV landscape in 1982 was changing but cable tv had yet to become an utility like today. ESPN was living week to week as back then Getty Oil was PAYING cable companies to carry it - that did not change until they got the NFL in 1987.

While suburbs in the 70's and early 80's were getting small 36 channel systems the big cities lagged behind ( with the exception of New York where reception was horrible because of buildings )

Chicago was not wired until 1984 which finally doomed ONTV and the Sox had sold Sportsvision to Dolan in early 1984.

Boston was in the same boat as while some smaller towns had cable like Somerville as early as 1972, the city did not get wired until 1983. The big hook for bars in Somerville was they not only got WSBK-TV clearly but also WPIX and WOR from New York. (BTW guess who got the Boston franchise - one Charles Dolan)

When I was in college I worked at a startup UHF that was a complete disaster.
http://radiodxer.bravehost.com/wxpo.html

The owner, Neil Cortell, was a lot like Einhorn - he had a vision. Channel 50 would be a stock market station by day and sports at night. He bought an expensive mobile unit ( later sold to WSBK ) and the first year had the Celtics (1969-70)
One problem - Bill Russell has retired the previous year and the Celtics had a horrific season. The station had a spotty signal in most of Boston and ran out of money weeks after signing on. The power company killed the power to the transmitter during a Maverick rerun.

Cortell was proved right with his vision but he was just way ahead of the curve.

Ted Turner stumbled onto the concept of a super-station simply because he was rich. Back in 1977 he was in Newport, Rhode Island as the owner and skipper of a boat that would win the America's Cup. He asked his chief engineer in Atlanta if there was any way for him to watch the Braves in Rhode Island. The CE replied yes but it will be expensive and Turner said no problem.

It meant installing a satellite dish in Newport and beaming the games from Atlanta. Once it was working Ted could watch his beloved Channel 17 anytime he wanted. Then he asked the CE, "Can anybody else see this?" and he was told - sure if they have a satellite dish.

The lightbulb went off in Ted's brain and soon Channel 17 spread across the south and then nationwide. CNN would follow in 1980.

LITTLE NELL
01-12-2012, 06:30 AM
The original Sportsvision was a disaster and along with WGN televising all Cub games helped turn Chicago into a Cub town.

DrCrawdad
01-12-2012, 07:39 AM
The original Sportsvision was a disaster and along with WGN televising all Cub games helped turn Chicago into a Cub town.

That's right. However I also agree with a lot of what Fenway said about Einhorn. Chicago wasn't ready for Einhorn's concept. As a result, as you said, the Sox alienated many Sox fans and missed out on winning over non-fans and soon to be baseball fans.

I do not hate Reinsdorf. In fact, I think there is much to admire about Reinsdorf. But Reinsdorf and Einhorn didn't understand Sox fans and Chicago and their arrogant pride cost them and in spite of Reinsdorf's many good qualities, the Sox have yet to fully recover.

russ99
01-12-2012, 08:15 AM
Very true.

Not only was Chicago not ready for the concept at the time, but removing the Sox from free TV was a detriment and surely helped propel the second division (at the time) Cubs to a larger market share.

At the time, HBO was in it's infancy, so you could say it was supreme hubris by Einhorn with his "TV expertise" to assume that the Sox would have a larger demand than such a service.

But as with all ownership groups, you get good things and bad. Sure the Sportsvision fiasco and the summary dumping of Harry and Jimmy hurt, but signing Fisk and the 83 team balanced things out a bit.

asindc
01-12-2012, 08:31 AM
That's right. However I also agree with a lot of what Fenway said about Einhorn. Chicago wasn't ready for Einhorn's concept. As a result, as you said, the Sox alienated many Sox fans and missed out on winning over non-fans and soon to be baseball fans.

I do not hate Reinsdorf. In fact, I think there is much to admire about Reinsdorf. But Reinsdorf and Einhorn didn't understand Sox fans and Chicago and their arrogant pride cost them and in spite of Reinsdorf's many good qualities, the Sox have yet to fully recover.

Much of the early criticism of Reinsdorf was that he was an East Coast guy who didn't understand Chicago, and I think that criticism was warranted in this case. Having lived here on the East Coast for 27 years now, I can say with confidence that his and Einhorn's abrasive styles in the beginning of their ownership tenure, as exemplified by this saga, would not have turned off the average New Yorker or Bostonian, and would have eventually been overlooked by most Washingtonians. Midwestern culture generally dictates a more genial public relations approach for businesses than does East Coast culture, and it seems that Reinsdorf and Einhorn badly misunderstood that.

October26
01-12-2012, 08:40 AM
...Using the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis calculator this is how insane SportsVision was prices.

http://www.minneapolisfed.org/

$21.95 in 1982 would be $51.46 today for a channel on 3 hours a day.

If you added ONTV for $35 a month that would be $82.05 a month :?:

We were also SportsVision subscribers back in the day. My parents, who were blue-collar workers, paid for Sportsvision so our family could watch Sox games. I had not realized how expensive it really was until I read your post. Wow.

If you turned your UHF dial to Channel 44 and wiggled the antenna cable in the back, sometimes you could get a black & white signal, without the sound, and the three bars down the center of the screen would move to the left. You could simulcast this with Joe McConnell and Early Wynn on WMAQ.

Yes, and boy do I remember those days! Whenever there were layoffs at the factory where my parents worked during the early 80's, money was tight and so we would have to go without SportsVision for awhile. This is what we did as well. And because I was the oldest child (teenager by then) in the family (and also desperate for White Sox baseball), I became quite good at UHF Channel 44 + antenna wiggling maneuvers!

Golden Sox
01-12-2012, 10:33 AM
I still find it amazing that Einhorn would expect people to pay for Sportsvision when you could get the bad guys for nothing on Channel 9. After his Pay Tv concept tanked here, he was the one who wanted to move the White Sox to Florida. When that didn't happen, he sold his shares to Reinsdorf and then disappeared. The only time anybody has seen him was at the Championship Parade after the 2005 World Series. Hes on paper working for the White Sox, but to my knowledge he basically has nothing to do with running the White Sox.

Lip Man 1
01-12-2012, 11:45 AM
Summerizes the entire SportsVision experiment. It was a really good idea, but like most things connected with this organization the timing was wrong.

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=2&id=2096

Lip

gobears1987
01-12-2012, 11:52 AM
I still find it amazing that Einhorn would expect people to pay for Sportsvision when you could get the bad guys for nothing on Channel 9. After his Pay Tv concept tanked here, he was the one who wanted to move the White Sox to Florida. When that didn't happen, he sold his shares to Reinsdorf and then disappeared. The only time anybody has seen him was at the Championship Parade after the 2005 World Series. Hes on paper working for the White Sox, but to my knowledge he basically has nothing to do with running the White Sox.

What do you mean he sold his shares to Reinsdorf? Eddie still owns his shares and still serves as the Vice Chairman of the White Sox. He just stopped appearing as a public face of the team. He works behind the scenes, but he doesn't do anything public and that is from what I hear a decision that was reached as a consensus by the board.

Fenway
01-12-2012, 12:58 PM
In 1984 NESN began - and it was an epic fail. When the first game was televised from Anaheim not a single cable company in New England had signed on.

They had done a free preview during spring training but NESN had bought a cheaper transponder that was very hard for the companies to pick up.

Leigh Montville wrote about the changing face of baseball on TV and in his column he writes about going to Chicago the previous fall expecting Comiskey to be a madhouse for a playoff game and it wasn't. He asked why and the answer was Sportsvision.

A year earlier when NESN was being announced, Jack Craig wrote about how it was the first time teams were getting more revenue from outside the park than in.

It was compounded in New England where you had two paychannels - NESN and Prism which became Sportschannel. Prism had wanted to merge with NESN but the Bruins said no and to this day we still have 2 sports cable outlets.

TommyJohn
01-12-2012, 12:59 PM
What do you mean he sold his shares to Reinsdorf? Eddie still owns his shares and still serves as the Vice Chairman of the White Sox. He just stopped appearing as a public face of the team. He works behind the scenes, but he doesn't do anything public and that is from what I hear a decision that was reached as a consensus by the board.


Poor old Eddie. He came to the Sox as a TV Executive. So he was used to talking like one-being abusive, abrasive, and telling all us peasants to just deal with what he was going to do. He soon learned that he couldn't talk to us lowlifes the way he talked to all the suck up synchopants that surrounded him before.

DickAllen72
01-12-2012, 05:52 PM
The original Sportsvision was a disaster and along with WGN televising all Cub games helped turn Chicago into a Cub town.
Yep. Einhorn screwed up bigtime with his stupid Sportsvision idea.

kba
01-12-2012, 07:59 PM
Very true.

Not only was Chicago not ready for the concept at the time, but removing the Sox from free TV was a detriment and surely helped propel the second division (at the time) Cubs to a larger market share.


In fairness, Bill Veeck was responsible for reducing the number of games on free TV. The last TV contract Veeck negotiated for the 1981 season put only about 60 games on free TV on WGN -- compared with the 120+ games that WSNS had televised in prior years.

Veeck also signed a contract with Cablevision in 1981 to televise the non-WGN games on a proposed new regional cable channel. But the channel never got off the ground, so the limited schedule of WGN games were the only ones on TV that year. (1981 ended up being a strike-shortened season, so there were maybe 40 Sox telecasts all season.)

In 1982, the new Sox ownership negotiated a new deal that put 45 games on free TV on WFLD, and the rest on SportsVision.

Lamp81
01-12-2012, 11:33 PM
We were also SportsVision subscribers back in the day. My parents, who were blue-collar workers, paid for Sportsvision so our family could watch Sox games. I had not realized how expensive it really was until I read your post. Wow.



Yes, and boy do I remember those days! Whenever there were layoffs at the factory where my parents worked during the early 80's, money was tight and so we would have to go without SportsVision for awhile. This is what we did as well. And because I was the oldest child (teenager by then) in the family (and also desperate for White Sox baseball), I became quite good at UHF Channel 44 + antenna wiggling maneuvers!

I too didn't realize how expensive this was. We too had Sportsvision and ONTV. I was such a baseball nut in the early 80s, that my Dad didn't think twice about getting this for the family. I know I saw the 82 and 83 seasons on Sportsvision.

By 1984, we ditched Sportsvision/ONTV for cable. With our cable system, we were able to get games from the White Sox (ch 32), Cubs, Mets, Braves, and Brewers. While I missed out on the SV Sox games, I did get a few extra from the Milwaukee channel that covered the Brewers.

In mid-season 1985, our cable company picked up Sportsvision, although it was a premium channel like HBO and Disney (was Disney this way for everyone in the 80s?). Once again my Dad stepped up and paid the extra $$$.

I just lost my Dad in 2011. I am so thankfull that he knew watching the White Sox games were important to me, and he did what he had to, to make me happy. Thanks Dad, I miss you.

Fenway
01-13-2012, 12:56 AM
We did not know it at the time, but Hawk's last appearance on WSBK was 'strange'

[FIRST Edition]
Boston Globe (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Boston, Mass.
Author: JACK CRAIG
Date: Oct 24, 1981
Start Page: 1
Section: SPORTS
Text Word Count: 46
Document Text
A familiar voice will be in a strange setting tonight when the Bruins face the Canadiens on Ch. 38. Hawk Harrelson, Red Sox baseball analyst, will replace Johnny Pierson as partner to play-by- play broadcaster Fred Cusick. Pierson will be absent because of a business commitment.

Back then TV38 and not the Red Sox had control of the announcers but the station manager admitted that for WSBK to get the contract after 1983, Hawk would be in jeopardy.

Hawk was great doing color in Boston, first with Dick Stockton and then Ned Martin. He hated what Haywood and Buddy had done to the team and said so on the air.

In any event - the White Sox decided that their TV team would be ex-players (Drysdale and Hawk) and that mindset has continued to this day. (Rooney on radio was the exception)

I know my own mindset back in 1982 was that SportsVision offered me my only chance to see American League baseball and on nights the Sox were not playing they did import Boston and NYY games.

But the core problem in 1982 was - how could the White Sox get a full slate of games on TV? They really had no options then.

gobears1987
01-13-2012, 03:29 AM
We did not know it at the time, but Hawk's last appearance on WSBK was 'strange'



Back then TV38 and not the Red Sox had control of the announcers but the station manager admitted that for WSBK to get the contract after 1983, Hawk would be in jeopardy.

Hawk was great doing color in Boston, first with Dick Stockton and then Ned Martin. He hated what Haywood and Buddy had done to the team and said so on the air.

In any event - the White Sox decided that their TV team would be ex-players (Drysdale and Hawk) and that mindset has continued to this day. (Rooney on radio was the exception)

I know my own mindset back in 1982 was that SportsVision offered me my only chance to see American League baseball and on nights the Sox were not playing they did import Boston and NYY games.

But the core problem in 1982 was - how could the White Sox get a full slate of games on TV? They really had no options then.
I'd love to hear a recording of Hawk calling a hockey game.

Golden Sox
01-13-2012, 06:04 AM
After the White Sox did not move to Florida, which is where Einhorn wanted the White Sox to go, Irv Kupcinet of the Chicago Sun Times reported that Einhorn sold virtually all of his shares of the White Sox to Reinsdorf. Einhorn owns less than 1% of the White Sox today.

A. Cavatica
01-13-2012, 07:17 AM
I'd love to hear a recording of Hawk calling a hockey game.

I'd love to hear him calling hockey, and only hockey, from now on.

PeteWard
01-13-2012, 07:24 AM
I'd love to hear him calling hockey, and only hockey, from now on.

As someone who never watches hockey, I heartily endorse this. :D:

Hitmen77
01-13-2012, 08:37 AM
Poor old Eddie. He came to the Sox as a TV Executive. So he was used to talking like one-being abusive, abrasive, and telling all us peasants to just deal with what he was going to do. He soon learned that he couldn't talk to us lowlifes the way he talked to all the suck up synchopants that surrounded him before.

Thank you. :clap::clap:

People like to call him a "visionary" now. But being a jerk and telling fans they "better get used to it" wasn't a good way to run a baseball team in 1982 and it isn't in 2012. That is one thing I'll never forget....that's what Eddie told us fans back then when SportsVision was launched. It was really a slap in the face to us fans to talk to us that way.

I understand the Sox were backed in to a corner in the early 80s because, after 44 became ONTV, there weren't any local outlets to carry a large slate of Sox games. But the way the Sox ownership presented SV to the fans was terrible. I was in jr high/high school around that time and my Cub fan friends just laughed their asses off at how the new Sox ownership was driving away fans.

I'm not sure if that $20 in 1982 was essential to cover overhead costs or if it was JR and EE's plan to make sure SV was making a nice profit. But, I have to wonder if they would have been better off taking a loss on SV for a couple of years by offering it at a lower price until Chicago was wired for cable in the mid 80s. It would have cost them money, but may have stemmed some of the huge loss in fan base during that time.

We got cable in '83 in our suburb and Lamp is right....at some point the cable systems picked up SportsVision, but it was a premium channel. I don't know when SportsVision finally became basic cable, but I think by then the Sox were mired in their totally forgettable 1986-88 years and headed for another public black eye with the threatened move to St. Pete.

People like to think SportsVision was "ahead of its time", but if the Sox charged $51/month today for a Sox-only station, it would still be a total failure.

October26
01-13-2012, 08:37 AM
I too didn't realize how expensive this was. We too had Sportsvision and ONTV. I was such a baseball nut in the early 80s, that my Dad didn't think twice about getting this for the family. I know I saw the 82 and 83 seasons on Sportsvision.

By 1984, we ditched Sportsvision/ONTV for cable. With our cable system, we were able to get games from the White Sox (ch 32), Cubs, Mets, Braves, and Brewers. While I missed out on the SV Sox games, I did get a few extra from the Milwaukee channel that covered the Brewers.

In mid-season 1985, our cable company picked up Sportsvision, although it was a premium channel like HBO and Disney (was Disney this way for everyone in the 80s?). Once again my Dad stepped up and paid the extra $$$.

I just lost my Dad in 2011. I am so thankfull that he knew watching the White Sox games were important to me, and he did what he had to, to make me happy. Thanks Dad, I miss you.

Interesting to read and see that we have similar SportsVision and OnTV experiences and that we were both (still are?) baseball nuts.

I am sorry to hear that you lost your Dad in 2011. He sounds like a great person who I would have enjoyed meeting. My deepest condolences to you on this tremendous loss. I know there isn't much that I (a total stranger) can say to you. However, I do hope that your memories of your time together, including enjoying Sox baseball, brings you some comfort.

kba
01-13-2012, 09:19 AM
After the White Sox did not move to Florida, which is where Einhorn wanted the White Sox to go, Irv Kupcinet of the Chicago Sun Times reported that Einhorn sold virtually all of his shares of the White Sox to Reinsdorf. Einhorn owns less than 1% of the White Sox today.

Kup did indeed report this on March 17, 1991. In typical Kup style, it was just one sentence in his column that said Reinsdorf "increased his holdings in the team by purchasing most of the stock held by his lifelong friend, Eddie Einhorn."

Fenway
01-13-2012, 10:18 AM
Looking at the Boston Globe archives it appears SportsChannel made the move to basic around 1991 at about the time SportsChannel America got the NHL rights. NESN followed 3 years later.

In the late 90's when Rupert Murdoch started buying RSN's around the country to make them Fox Sports, he either bought the RSN's outright like SportsChannel or drove them out of business by securing the rights to the teams (PASS in Detroit lost the Tigers,Wings and Pistons) He tried to buy NESN but the Red Sox and Bruins would not sell to him.

Noneck
01-13-2012, 11:20 AM
Thank you. :clap::clap:

People like to call him a "visionary" now. But being a jerk and telling fans they "better get used to it" wasn't a good way to run a baseball team in 1982 and it isn't in 2012. That is one thing I'll never forget....that's what Eddie told us fans back then when SportsVision was launched. It was really a slap in the face to us fans to talk to us that way.

I understand the Sox were backed in to a corner in the early 80s because, after 44 became ONTV, there weren't any local outlets to carry a large slate of Sox games. But the way the Sox ownership presented SV to the fans was terrible. I was in jr high/high school around that time and my Cub fan friends just laughed their asses off at how the new Sox ownership was driving away fans.

I'm not sure if that $20 in 1982 was essential to cover overhead costs or if it was JR and EE's plan to make sure SV was making a nice profit. But, I have to wonder if they would have been better off taking a loss on SV for a couple of years by offering it at a lower price until Chicago was wired for cable in the mid 80s. It would have cost them money, but may have stemmed some of the huge loss in fan base during that time.

We got cable in '83 in our suburb and Lamp is right....at some point the cable systems picked up SportsVision, but it was a premium channel. I don't know when SportsVision finally became basic cable, but I think by then the Sox were mired in their totally forgettable 1986-88 years and headed for another public black eye with the threatened move to St. Pete.

People like to think SportsVision was "ahead of its time", but if the Sox charged $51/month today for a Sox-only station, it would still be a total failure.


They probably did lose money based on the few amount of subscribers they got but I agree with you, their goal was to make money not to hold the fan base together until another option became available. Things like this and threatened move to florida are things that will always be remembered by some Sox fans.

Lamp81
01-13-2012, 11:23 PM
Interesting to read and see that we have similar SportsVision and OnTV experiences and that we were both (still are?) baseball nuts.

I am sorry to hear that you lost your Dad in 2011. He sounds like a great person who I would have enjoyed meeting. My deepest condolences to you on this tremendous loss. I know there isn't much that I (a total stranger) can say to you. However, I do hope that your memories of your time together, including enjoying Sox baseball, brings you some comfort.

Thanks October26, I appreciate it. As with most fathers and sons, we did have our differences but, he is the one who, one evening, brought home a White Sox hat for me, in 1977. I only took that hat off for sleeping and bathtime (I was 5).

I was a die hard Sox fan from that moment, and we spent most summer nights watching the Sox on ch 44, listening to Harry and Jimmy. I was CRUSHED when Harry left to go to the Cubs. I grew to dislike Harry because of the cariacture he became to Cub fans. Also the 1984 season, when our hopes were so high, and the Cubs came out of nowhere.:angry:

slavko
01-14-2012, 11:03 AM
They probably did lose money based on the few amount of subscribers they got but I agree with you, their goal was to make money not to hold the fan base together until another option became available. Things like this and threatened move to florida are things that will always be remembered by some Sox fans.

Maxing revenue absolutely was the goal. I remember Eddie in an interview saying that it would be better for fans because the club would be able to have a higher payroll. Don't anyone tell me again what business geniuses these guys are.

October26
01-14-2012, 12:59 PM
Thanks October26, I appreciate it. As with most fathers and sons, we did have our differences but, he is the one who, one evening, brought home a White Sox hat for me, in 1977. I only took that hat off for sleeping and bathtime (I was 5).

I was a die hard Sox fan from that moment, and we spent most summer nights watching the Sox on ch 44, listening to Harry and Jimmy. I was CRUSHED when Harry left to go to the Cubs. I grew to dislike Harry because of the cariacture he became to Cub fans. Also the 1984 season, when our hopes were so high, and the Cubs came out of nowhere.:angry:

This was me as well. And I completely understand what you are saying about 1984. After the magic/heartache that was the 1983 Sox team (I am still trying to find Britt Burns so I can give him a hug), I spent that entire winter/off-season dreaming of the good things that would be for the White Sox in 1984. Of course, the Sox did not have a good '84 season (won:74, lost:88 - yes, I had to go look that up) and the Cubs went on to have a magical season (except in October).

It's funny you mention Harry going to the Cubs. Many of my younger co-workers, who are Cub fans, tell me they had no idea that Harry was ever with the Sox. I guess that is understandable, since many of them had not yet been born when Harry was with the Sox. Me? I take alot of pride in knowing the history of my baseball team (even though I get my Bannisters confused sometimes - ha! - this is what happens when you get older). I like to read books on White Sox history and I am currently reading a book about the 1959 Sox team.

DSpivack
01-14-2012, 01:04 PM
This was me as well. And I completely understand what you are saying about 1984. After the magic/heartache that was the 1983 Sox team (I am still trying to find Britt Burns so I can give him a hug), I spent that entire winter/off-season dreaming of the good things that would be for the White Sox in 1984. Of course, the Sox did not have a good '84 season (won:74, lost:88 - yes, I had to go look that up) and the Cubs went on to have a magical season (except in October).

There was a lot of hope at the beginning of the season, however.

I was born! :tongue:

October26
01-14-2012, 01:39 PM
There was a lot of hope at the beginning of the season, however.

I was born! :tongue:

:thumbsup: Great. I see that you were born on April 19th. Yes, there was tremendous excitement for White Sox fans and I'd imagine also for your parents going into April 1984.

Fenway
01-14-2012, 02:21 PM
I do find it amazing that SportsVision did not adjust prices after 1982. Even with the great 83 season there was really no bump in subscribers.

At the same time the Flubs were in turmoil.....remember it was 83 when Grobber taped this...

uv23pqH9iG0

SportsVision was paying a large amount of money to Fred Eychaner who rushed to get Channel 50 on the air in time for the 1982 season. 50% of SportsVision fees went to him.

Fred knew Eddie and Jerry because of Northwestern. He is still around with his Newsweb radio network around Chicago. He offered to sell WPWR-TV to the White Sox but JR scoffed at the idea. 20years later he sold the station to Rupert Murdoch for a staggering $425 million.

Just another case of JR being penny wise and pound foolish.

Brian26
01-14-2012, 04:15 PM
SportsVision was paying a large amount of money to Fred Eychaner who rushed to get Channel 50 on the air in time for the 1982 season. 50% of SportsVision fees went to him.

Actually, it was Channel 60 at the time. They used to air old game shows during the afternoons and had a pretty cool arcade-game show called Starcade hosted by Geoff Edwards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starcade

I think he sold the Channel 60 signal to Home Shopping Network sometime in the late 80s and then moved WPWR to Channel 50.

Fenway
01-14-2012, 04:30 PM
Actually, it was Channel 60 at the time. They used to air old game shows during the afternoons and had a pretty cool arcade-game show called Starcade hosted by Geoff Edwards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starcade

I think he sold the Channel 60 signal to Home Shopping Network sometime in the late 80s and then moved WPWR to Channel 50.

I forgot about the split - and back then Home Shopping bought any station they could. Still why Murdoch paid so much for Channel 50 ten years ago is still a mystery.

Still the White Sox should have bought the station when they had the chance. Back then both the Celtics and Sabres bought stations and later sold them for a nice profit.

russ99
01-14-2012, 07:22 PM
It's funny you mention Harry going to the Cubs. Many of my younger co-workers, who are Cub fans, tell me they had no idea that Harry was ever with the Sox. I guess that is understandable, since many of them had not yet been born when Harry was with the Sox. Me? I take alot of pride in knowing the history of my baseball team (even though I get my Bannisters confused sometimes - ha! - this is what happens when you get older). I like to read books on White Sox history and I am currently reading a book about the 1959 Sox team.

Sadly, Harry was a shadow (some would say caricature) of his south side anti-establishment self with the Cubs.

I really wish Jerry and Eddie would have given Harry and Jimmy a chance, instead of wanting to ditch them as soon as the sale was completed.

Harry and Jimmy calling Sox games in 1983 on free TV would have been great, and the Cubs may have not gotten that super-station based foothold on us.

The Cubs were a bad team in the late 70s and first few years of the 80s. And remember in Lee Elia's famous rant in 83, they were drawing a couple of thousand "bums" for most games.

LITTLE NELL
01-14-2012, 08:30 PM
This was me as well. And I completely understand what you are saying about 1984. After the magic/heartache that was the 1983 Sox team (I am still trying to find Britt Burns so I can give him a hug), I spent that entire winter/off-season dreaming of the good things that would be for the White Sox in 1984. Of course, the Sox did not have a good '84 season (won:74, lost:88 - yes, I had to go look that up) and the Cubs went on to have a magical season (except in October).

It's funny you mention Harry going to the Cubs. Many of my younger co-workers, who are Cub fans, tell me they had no idea that Harry was ever with the Sox. I guess that is understandable, since many of them had not yet been born when Harry was with the Sox. Me? I take alot of pride in knowing the history of my baseball team (even though I get my Bannisters confused sometimes - ha! - this is what happens when you get older). I like to read books on White Sox history and I am currently reading a book about the 1959 Sox team.

What book are you reading about the 59 Sox?
One of the oldest items I own is a book called the Go-Go White Sox written by the late Tribune writer Dave Condon. It came out about a month after the 59 World Series and my parents bought the book for me for Christmas of 59.

TDog
01-14-2012, 08:42 PM
Sadly, Harry was a shadow (some would say caricature) of his south side anti-establishment self with the Cubs.

I really wish Jerry and Eddie would have given Harry and Jimmy a chance, instead of wanting to ditch them as soon as the sale was completed.

Harry and Jimmy calling Sox games in 1983 on free TV would have been great, and the Cubs may have not gotten that super-station based foothold on us.

The Cubs were a bad team in the late 70s and first few years of the 80s. And remember in Lee Elia's famous rant in 83, they were drawing a couple of thousand "bums" for most games.

It's more likely that the Cubs would have hired a different cheerleader as their popularity skyrocketed while Harry Caray would have continued to be loved by many Sox fans and hated by many others as an abrasive announcer who heavily criticized the play of the team he was covering (something he was prohibitted from doing based on his agreement to defect to the Cubs, not that defecting was a difficult decision considering the substantial pay increase and his love for drinking heavily on Rush Street on a nightly basis).

According to the late Curt Flood, Cardinals players hated Harry Caray for his critical coverage of the team in the 1960s, and the Cardinals had a pretty strong decade in the 1960s.

Lip Man 1
01-14-2012, 09:58 PM
In fact the White Sox offered Harry more money than the Cubs did for him to return for the 1982 season and possibly beyond.

Harry left for two reasons as he said in his book:

1. The Sox were going to SportsVision.
2. The owners were "*******s" in his words.

Money had little to do with it.

Lip

Fenway
01-14-2012, 10:18 PM
Best single hire the Tribune made back in 1983?

John McDonough


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McDonough_(sports_executive)

TDog
01-14-2012, 10:48 PM
In fact the White Sox offered Harry more money than the Cubs did for him to return for the 1982 season and possibly beyond.

Harry left for two reasons as he said in his book:

1. The Sox were going to SportsVision.
2. The owners were "*******s" in his words.

Money had little to do with it.

Lip

My television sources differ, but they could be wrong. Regardless, if one of us is right, the White Sox didn't dump Harry Caray as many Sox fans seem to believe. And Harry Caray certainly wasn't nearly as abrasive with the Cubs as he had been throughout his career.

Harry Caray calling people names has little meaning. I don't know what the language filter filtered out, but it can't be as bad as what I've heard baseball people call Harry Caray. I have much more regard for the character of the White Sox owners than I did for Harry Caray the man.

Noneck
01-14-2012, 11:33 PM
Harry Caray calling people names has little meaning. I don't know what the language filter filtered out, but it can't be as bad as what I've heard baseball people call Harry Caray. I have much more regard for the character of the White Sox owners than I did for Harry Caray the man.

I dont know the Sox owners or didnt know Harry Caray personally so I can not and also find no need to judge their personal character. Yes I have heard personal things about Caray and also about Reinsdorf. What is true and what isnt and what is worse doesnt really affect me. The only thing that affects me is how they both affected me as a fan. Caray helped keep Sox baseball alive when the team was in bad shape and actually turned people into Sox fans. On a personal level, I thought he was a very good announcer and amused me when the team was really bad. Reinsdorf did more things in his 1st decade of ownership to turn away fans than he did to bring fans into the fold. Finally Caray may have called Reinsdorf something derogotory but that doesnt hold a candle to an owner going out of his way to call a former popular announcer scum at the Sox celebration of finally making the post season after over 20 years.

Fenway
01-14-2012, 11:50 PM
I remember the first time I ever heard Harry Caray. I was in Fenway Park for Game 1 of the 67 World Series in standing room and as was the custom back then people brought radios to the park. There was no local radio for the Series then and Harry was on NBC Radio and I can remember fans at Fenway screaming "who is this yahoo?"????

I have one strong Harry memory and WSI lurker shbart will verify the story.

I was working a game at Wrigley in early spring of 1986 and after the game we all went to the Cubs press bar called the 'Pink Poodle' to warm up.

Harry showed up and he was slurring words badly with a few choice adjectives thrown in. This man was bombed 20 minutes after the game.

The steward in the bar then said 'Harry, you have a phone call from Jack Buck at KMOX and he wants an interview'

Harry said loudly - 'F*** him but give me the phone' and he staggered over and then bellowed 'HI JACK - THIS IS HARRY CARAY' and when on and did an interview for 5 minutes perfectly. He hung up the phone and became drunk again.

TDog
01-15-2012, 12:13 AM
I dont know the Sox owners or didnt know Harry Caray personally so I can not and also find no need to judge their personal character. Yes I have heard personal things about Caray and also about Reinsdorf. What is true and what isnt and what is worse doesnt really affect me. The only thing that affects me is how they both affected me as a fan. Caray helped keep Sox baseball alive when the team was in bad shape and actually turned people into Sox fans. On a personal level, I thought he was a very good announcer and amused me when the team was really bad. Reinsdorf did more things in his 1st decade of ownership to turn away fans than he did to bring fans into the fold. Finally Caray may have called Reinsdorf something derogotory but that doesnt hold a candle to an owner going out of his way to call a former popular announcer scum at the Sox celebration of finally making the post season after over 20 years.

I was responding to the implied argument (if not made, at least one that could be inferred) that the White Sox were at fault for losing Harry Caray because Harry Caray called the owners worse than scum.

I have met and talked with both Harry Caray and Jerry Reinsdorf. My personal view is that Jerry Reinsdorf was more justified in his public assessment of Harry Caray, although Jerry Reinsdorf probably regrets extending the public war of words as he did.

Harry Caray swore at me before a White Sox game when I was a teenager under circumstances I don't believe were in any way justified. I had no problem with what Jerry Reinsdorf said.

Noneck
01-15-2012, 12:19 AM
Harry Caray swore at me before a White Sox game when I was a teenager under circumstances I don't believe were in any way justified. I had no problem with what Jerry Reinsdorf said.


I understand how a personal incident can affect ones feelings toward an individual.

LITTLE NELL
01-15-2012, 07:28 AM
Back in 79 I asked Harry to take a picture with my wife and son before a game at Comiskey, he was very nice and joked around a little bit with us. I've always been a big Harry fan and was down in the dumps when he crossed over to the Cubs. I thought the remarks made by the Sunshine Boys after the Sox clinched the 83 division were way out of line.
I actually called Harry at his place at the Ambassador East hotel after the 74 season, it was after Bob Waller blasted Tanner and the Sox for mailing in the season. It sounded like Harry was ready to leave the Sox. He talked to me about 5 minutes and I told him how Sox fans loved him and wanted him to stay with the Sox, I was just a fan and he said he appreciated it that I would take the time to express my feelings to him.

PS The picture was taken on the first game of a new homestand after Disco Demolition night and I was so upset what bad of shape the outfield was in.

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=7262&stc=1&d=1326634040

Sorry about the quality of the picture, it was taken with a cheap Kodak Instamatic camera. I think it cost 15 bucks.

SI1020
01-15-2012, 08:40 AM
According to the late Curt Flood, Cardinals players hated Harry Caray for his critical coverage of the team in the 1960s, and the Cardinals had a pretty strong decade in the 1960s. He did plenty of cheerleading for those Cardinal teams too. He was probably at the height of his broadcasting abilities in the 60's. It was a treat to listen to him on KMOX back then. He would get positively giddy when the Cardinals were on a winning streak. I respect Flood, as should all current MLB players. The big big money would never have been possible if not for him. Harry was in the "tell it like it is" school of broadcasting until he went to the Cubs. I will always believe that in his heart of hearts he still loved his hometown Cardinals.

Fenway
01-15-2012, 09:13 AM
Piersall WAS insane.

I was at Wrigley one day walking along the aisle on the third base side. I was wearing a Red Sox jacket that that was like the one the players wore. Jimmy approached me and his eyes just grew wide and he started shaking me and screaming - "Tom Yawkey would roll over in his grave to see somebody like you wearing that jacket." - I replied "His widow sold it to me."

A few year laters I was the cameraman when a local Boston reporter interviewed Jimmy at an Old Timers Game. It was in 1989 and Pete Rose was the story and the reporter asked Jimmy about it. Jimmy went into a hateful tirade against 'the little fat professor from New Haven' (Bart Giamati) and it went downhill from there.

LITTLE NELL
01-15-2012, 09:58 AM
Piersall WAS insane.

I was at Wrigley one day walking along the aisle on the third base side. I was wearing a Red Sox jacket that that was like the one the players wore. Jimmy approached me and his eyes just grew wide and he started shaking me and screaming - "Tom Yawkey would roll over in his grave to see somebody like you wearing that jacket." - I replied "His widow sold it to me."

A few year laters I was the cameraman when a local Boston reporter interviewed Jimmy at an Old Timers Game. It was in 1989 and Pete Rose was the story and the reporter asked Jimmy about it. Jimmy went into a hateful tirade against 'the little fat professor from New Haven' (Bart Giamati) and it went downhill from there.

I've mentioned it before that I knew Jimmy very well back in my years living in Wheaton. He could be very intense and hyperactive but insane is a little strong.

DickAllen72
01-15-2012, 11:15 AM
In fact the White Sox offered Harry more money than the Cubs did for him to return for the 1982 season and possibly beyond.

Harry left for two reasons as he said in his book:

1. The Sox were going to SportsVision.
2. The owners were "*******s" in his words.

Money had little to do with it.

Lip
Again, everyone with any understanding of the situation at the time knew Sportsvision was a big mistake. As for the second reason, let's just assume Harry had his reasons for feeling that way about them and leave it at that.

Regardless, the fact is that Harry and Jimmy were a great broadcast team and certainly the most entertaining in White Sox history. Losing them and going to Sportsvision were both certainly negatives for the White Sox.

Lip Man 1
01-15-2012, 11:32 AM
Since a personal story was injected into this conversation, I'll enter mine.

When I was in high school I had a 'letter to the editor' published on behalf of Wilbur Wood in Baseball Digest (I was shocked to find BD can now be accessed on line and found that letter!).

For some reason I took that edition with me to a Sox game in September 1971. I always got to the park hours earlier (in those days I think they opened the gates three or four hours before first pitch so you could watch BP). I was one of the few people in the stands when I saw Harry come into the park. I went up to him, introduced myself and showed him the book / letter. Harry (who was broadcasting from the center field bleachers that afternoon) immediately said for me to join him on the pregame show.

I was shocked but we did it and I got some free tickets to a future game the next season.

Right there I became a big fan of his. We stayed in touch over the years and he provided some written advice to me when I was deciding on the fact that I wanted to get into the broadcasting business.

Harry was never a saint, he had his issues and could be frankly very unkind to those he disliked (i.e. J.C. Martin) but there was no question he was a top announcer, helped keep the Sox relevent when they were garbage and knew the game.

As Noneck has said, history shows the first decade of their ownership had JR and company making a lot of bad decisions and alienating a lot of Sox fans. Harry's comment might have been a tad strong but in my opinion, it was accurate at the time. And JR didn't make himself look good by his personal attack on Harry and Jimmy on a night when that's the last thing he should have had on his mind.

Lip

Fenway
01-15-2012, 11:48 AM
Since a personal story was injected into this conversation, I'll enter mine.

When I was in high school I had a 'letter to the editor' published on behalf of Wilbur Wood in Baseball Digest (I was shocked to find BD can now be accessed on line and found that letter!).

For some reason I took that edition with me to a Sox game in September 1971. I always got to the park hours earlier (in those days I think they opened the gates three or four hours before first pitch so you could watch BP). I was one of the few people in the stands when I saw Harry come into the park. I went up to him, introduced myself and showed him the book / letter. Harry (who was broadcasting from the center field bleachers that afternoon) immediately said for me to join him on the pregame show.

I was shocked but we did it and I got some free tickets to a future game the next season.

Right there I became a big fan of his. We stayed in touch over the years and he provided some written advice to me when I was deciding on the fact that I wanted to get into the broadcasting business.

Harry was never a saint, he had his issues and could be frankly very unkind to those he disliked (i.e. J.C. Martin) but there was no question he was a top announcer, helped keep the Sox relevent when they were garbage and knew the game.

As Noneck has said, history shows the first decade of their ownership had JR and company making a lot of bad decisions and alienating a lot of Sox fans. Harry's comment might have been a tad strong but in my opinion, it was accurate. And JR didn't make himself look good by his personal attack on Harry and Jimmy on a night when that's the last thing he should have had on his mind.

Lip


When did JR do this? It certainly wasn't in the locker room with Hawk.

Here is the interview
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=uRPgWhVLx94#t=239s

Brian26
01-15-2012, 12:49 PM
When did JR do this? It certainly wasn't in the locker room with Hawk.

It happened at the very end of an interview. Not sure if it was Hawk.

October26
01-15-2012, 12:49 PM
Sadly, Harry was a shadow (some would say caricature) of his south side anti-establishment self with the Cubs. I really wish Jerry and Eddie would have given Harry and Jimmy a chance, instead of wanting to ditch them as soon as the sale was completed. Harry and Jimmy calling Sox games in 1983 on free TV would have been great, and the Cubs may have not gotten that super-station based foothold on us. The Cubs were a bad team in the late 70s and first few years of the 80s. And remember in Lee Elia's famous rant in 83, they were drawing a couple of thousand "bums" for most games.
Russ99: I agree with everything you said above and I, too, would have loved to have seen Harry and Jimmy stay with the Sox longer.

What book are you reading about the 59 Sox? One of the oldest items I own is a book called the Go-Go White Sox written by the late Tribune writer Dave Condon. It came out about a month after the 59 World Series and my parents bought the book for me for Christmas of 59.
LittleNell: The book I’m reading is called Chicago White Sox 1959 and Beyond, by Dan Helpingstine. It’s not just about the 1959 team (sorry if my post misrepresented it as such). Rather, it is a compilation of White Sox highlights and stories, including the 1959 team. Dan does a terrific job telling White Sox stories and there are some wonderful pictures in the book as well. Since I was not alive in 1959, I am interested in reading more about that Sox team. The only player I met from that team is Billy Pierce (I absolutely love Billy and an autographed picture of his is one of my White Sox treasures:D:). Thanks for the heads up on the Go-Go White Sox book by Dave Condon. I wonder if I can still find it in circulation in any of the Chicago Public Library branches? I’ll have to do a search on their website along for any other books on the 1959 Sox team.

Lip Man 1
01-15-2012, 12:53 PM
Oh yes he did. I have the complete tape from that night as I recorded the entire locker room celebration from my offices in Louisiana. Hawk was momentarily stunned and silenced not knowing what to say or how to react.

The comment took place in the locker room on national TV (since the SportsVision feed that night was picked up by Superstation WGN). It literally came out of nowhere.

Bob Logan, Tribune reporter, who was in the locker room also recounted the situation in his book, "Miracle on 35th Street".

"Reinsdorf so soft spoken that nobody would guess he was born in Brooklyn, kept his feelings bottled up until the Sox clinched the Western Division title on September 17. Then he cut loose with both barrels denouncing Caray and Piersall as 'scum.' It wasn't a sudden thought." - Pg. 143.

Both the Tribune and Sun-Times also reported the remark.

Dan Helpingstein in his books on the White Sox also reported the exact quote. Without rewatching the tape, I have to go from memory but as I recall it went along these lines.

'Harry and Jimmy wherever you are I hope you realize what scum you are...'

Lip

Brian26
01-15-2012, 12:55 PM
Oh yes he did. I have the complete tape from that night as I recorded the entire locker room celebration from my offices in Louisiana. Hawk was momentarily stunned and silenced not knowing what to say or how to react.

Fuzzy Memories has it uploaded. I'll look for it later.

LITTLE NELL
01-15-2012, 12:56 PM
Russ99: I agree with everything you said above and I, too, would have loved to have seen Harry and Jimmy stay with the Sox longer.


LittleNell: The book Iím reading is called Chicago White Sox 1959 and Beyond, by Dan Helpingstine. Itís not just about the 1959 team (sorry if my post misrepresented it as such). Rather, it is a compilation of White Sox highlights and stories, including the 1959 team. Dan does a terrific job telling White Sox stories and there are some wonderful pictures in the book as well. Since I was not alive in 1959, I am interested in reading more about that Sox team. The only player I met from that team is Billy Pierce (I absolutely love Billy and an autographed picture of his is one of my White Sox treasures:D:). Thanks for the heads up on the Go-Go White Sox book by Dave Condon. I wonder if I can still find it in circulation in any of the Chicago Public Library branches? Iíll have to do a search on their website along for any other books on the 1959 Sox team.

This is the book. Amazon has it for $45.



http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rhJ9Ev4dL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Lip Man 1
01-15-2012, 12:59 PM
Have just rewatched the tape (I knew where it was in my library).

Here is the quote from JR to Hawk from the raised stage in the locker room (still amazed by Hawk's sweater!):

"Harry and Jimmy wherever you are, eat your hearts out, I hope you realize what scum you are."

Lip

October26
01-15-2012, 12:59 PM
This is the book. Amazon has it for $45.



http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rhJ9Ev4dL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Great - thanks!

Fenway
01-15-2012, 01:16 PM
Fuzzy Memories has it uploaded. I'll look for it later.

http://www.fuzzymemories.tv/#videoclip-1202


It appears that this was taped off of WLS-TV which also used SportsVision's feed.

I have no doubt that it happened - I just want to see it for myself. Lip you should upload your copy to You Tube.

DickAllen72
01-15-2012, 01:20 PM
Have just rewatched the tape (I knew where it was in my library).

Here is the quote from JR to Hawk from the raised stage in the locker room (still amazed by Hawk's sweater!):

"Harry and Jimmy wherever you are, eat your hearts out, I hope you realize what scum you are."

Lip
And then the Sox went on to lose in the first round of the playoffs. Real classy JR! :cool:

LITTLE NELL
01-15-2012, 01:55 PM
http://www.fuzzymemories.tv/#videoclip-1202


It appears that this was taped off of WLS-TV which also used SportsVision's feed.

I have no doubt that it happened - I just want to see it for myself. Lip you should upload your copy to You Tube.

I can affirm, I was sort of stunned that JR said it as it should have stayed in his thoughts instead of running his mouth off on what was a great night.

SI1020
01-15-2012, 03:28 PM
I can affirm, I was sort of stunned that JR said it as it should have stayed in his thoughts instead of running his mouth off on what was a great night. I have found that many people, both the famous and the anonymous can be complex and contradictory. Reinsdorf can be loyal and caring, but he does have a vindictive streak too. This is just a personal observation of mine, and not intended to be an overall indictment on the man. He came from humble roots and accomplished a lot in his life. He and Einhorn did little to endear themselves to me, and many other Sox fans for a very long time.

Golden Sox
01-16-2012, 08:49 AM
Jerry Reinsdorf was wrong when he called Harry Caray scum. But have people forgotten the fact that Caray and Piersal dumped all over Reinsdorf, Einhorn and Tony Larussa for almost three years before Reinsdorf made that remark. I also was a big fan of Caray when he was with the White Sox. There was nobody in Chicago that was ever like him. He did a tremendous job of creating interest in the White Sox in the 1970's.When he left to join the bad guys he definitely changed his act. Even former sportswriter Bill Gleason pointed out the fact that Caray became another houseman for the Cubs. Caray didn't really have any choice but become a houseman for the Cubs. If he would of been as critical of the Cubs players as he was White Sox, he would of been gone after the first year. I found it ironic that Carays grandson Chip Caray did'n't have his contact renewed by the Cubs because of his criticism of the Cubs team in 2004. Last but not least, I've met both Reinsdorf and Harry Caray and I could see why they didn't get along. There character as human beings were much different. Caray was a heavy drinker, Reinsdorf doesn't drink. Reinsdorf has always been a bigtime devoted family man, Caray wasn't.

ode to veeck
01-16-2012, 12:12 PM
the original OnTV/Sportsvision decoding box could be circumvented by taking a drill and drilling right through a single DIP component on the pc board inside, later when they got more sophisticated, real engineering undecoders were a common senior project in the EE dept at UIC

ode to veeck
01-16-2012, 12:14 PM
This is the book. Amazon has it for $45.



http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rhJ9Ev4dL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

wow didn't know Dave Condon did a book on the white sox, he was my favorite columnist for years in the wake of the news

SI1020
01-16-2012, 01:18 PM
wow didn't know Dave Condon did a book on the white sox, he was my favorite columnist for years in the wake of the news I met him in the Wrigley Field bleachers over 40 years ago. He didn't use me for the story he was doing, but was very personable, and we had a nice conversation about Chicago sports history.

LITTLE NELL
01-16-2012, 02:53 PM
wow didn't know Dave Condon did a book on the white sox, he was my favorite columnist for years in the wake of the news

He was a great Sox fan and I loved his "In The Wake Of The News'' column especially when he would ''talk to his daughter'' in the column about the Sox. Seemed like most of the writers in his day pulled for the Sox more than the Cubs, guys like Warren Brown, Edgar Munzel and Dick Dozier. I think Jerome Holtzman was more of a Cub fan but was fair. Of course back in those days the only thing the Cubs had going for them was Ernie Banks.

SI1020
01-16-2012, 03:25 PM
He was a great Sox fan and I loved his "In The Wake Of The News'' column especially when he would ''talk to his daughter'' in the column about the Sox. Seemed like most of the writers in his day pulled for the Sox more than the Cubs, guys like Warren Brown, Edgar Munzel and Dick Dozier. I think Jerome Holtzman was more of a Cub fan but was fair. Of course back in those days the only thing the Cubs had going for them was Ernie Banks. Don't forget John Carmichael who wrote the "The Barbershop" column in the Daily News. Of course there was Bill Gleason, who never shied away from letting everyone know where he stood. It did seem like Chicago was a Sox town in the sports pages. Then along came Durocher, the Sox went into a steep decline, and suddenly it was like a whole era never happened. It was weird, almost surreal.

LITTLE NELL
01-16-2012, 03:52 PM
Don't forget John Carmichael who wrote the "The Barbershop" column in the Daily News. Of course there was Bill Gleason, who never shied away from letting everyone know where he stood. It did seem like Chicago was a Sox town in the sports pages. Then along came Durocher, the Sox went into a steep decline, and suddenly it was like a whole era never happened. It was weird, almost surreal.

Don't know how I forgot those two. You are right about the sudden change which brought us the likes of Rick Talley.

Noneck
01-16-2012, 04:00 PM
Don't forget John Carmichael who wrote the "The Barbershop" column in the Daily News. Of course there was Bill Gleason, who never shied away from letting everyone know where he stood. It did seem like Chicago was a Sox town in the sports pages. Then along came Durocher, the Sox went into a steep decline, and suddenly it was like a whole era never happened. It was weird, almost surreal.

John Justin Smith wrote some good and amusing columns about the Sox in the daily news.

Lip Man 1
01-16-2012, 04:29 PM
Rich Lindberg tells the story about Smith renting a cabin in the Wisconsin woods and when the person who had the cabin next to him found out who he was, demanded another cabin.

Said person was a Cub fan and was pissed off that Smith wrote that as bad as they were at the time, the Sox still were a better team than the Cubs...LOL.

Lip

Lip Man 1
01-16-2012, 04:33 PM
And don't forget about Ed Prell, a young Brent Musberger and Dick Hackenberg.

Yes before 1967 the Sox got the lion's share of the media coverage and why wouldn't they? They always had winning seasons, were usually in the pennant race and had a bunch of nationally known All Stars.

The Cubs had Ernie Banks, and the "college of coaches"...nuff said.

Lip

Golden Sox
01-17-2012, 10:18 AM
Someone mentioned Rick Talley. Believe me it got much worse after him. Was there ever or will there ever be a writer that hated the White Sox in Chicago more than Jay Mariotti?

Noneck
01-17-2012, 04:24 PM
Remember all, Rick Talley moderated The Dick Allen Show. No Sox player since had their own TV show.

slavko
01-17-2012, 09:45 PM
Last but not least, I've met both Reinsdorf and Harry Caray and I could see why they didn't get along. There character as human beings were much different. Caray was a heavy drinker, Reinsdorf doesn't drink. Reinsdorf has always been a bigtime devoted family man, Caray wasn't.

On the night of the "scum" tirade I would bet a lemon cookie that JR and Eddie had a couple of drinks in the celebration and as non-drinkers are prone to do, had their inhibitions removed. Shoulda, woulda kept their damn mouths shut.

If you can't handle your liquor.....

apbaball
01-19-2012, 08:09 AM
Sadly, Harry was a shadow (some would say caricature) of his south side anti-establishment self with the Cubs.

I really wish Jerry and Eddie would have given Harry and Jimmy a chance, instead of wanting to ditch them as soon as the sale was completed.

Harry and Jimmy calling Sox games in 1983 on free TV would have been great, and the Cubs may have not gotten that super-station based foothold on us.

The Cubs were a bad team in the late 70s and first few years of the 80s. And remember in Lee Elia's famous rant in 83, they were drawing a couple of thousand "bums" for most games.

Yes, absolutely. The Cubs began a downslide in the mid 70s and fans began to resent the ownership. Their was a lot of discontent when the Cubs traded Madlock and the organization was viewed as cheap and not interested in doing what it takes to win. From 1974-76 the Cubs barely drew 1,000,000 fans. The Sox outdrew the Cubs in 77, 82 and 83. By 1977 even though the Cubs were still more popular as I think one poll had more people identified as Cubs fans than Sox fans, it was cooler to be a Sox fan. You held your head up high when dealing with Cub fans or talking baseball. The Sox had bettter announcers, a better team and more knowledgeable fans. I used to comment that Wrigley was mostly populated with 10 year olds who "chanted we want a hit" all through the game.

My point is the Sox had the potential to become the number 1 team in the Chicago. Then came the Sports Channel debacle, the firing of Jimmy and losing Harry, and the firing of LaRussa. That combined with the Cubs on the field success, the hiring of Harry and the advantage of being a SuperStation broadcasting across the country on cable allowed the Cubs to really take off in popularity. If you look back even further, the Sox outdrew the Cubs for most of the 50s and 60s. That was before my time but I'll bet this was a Sox city in the 50s until 68. It was really only the Cubs run from 68-73 that being a Cub fan took off. (The Sox moving to channel 32 also hurt) The Cubs surge in popularity might have been a temporary blip if it weren't for the big mistakes made by the Sox in the late 70s and early to mid 80s.

Fenway
01-19-2012, 10:18 AM
The move to Channel 32 in 1968 was forced somewhat by WGN-TV deciding they wanted to show more Cubs road games. WGN Radio was the Cubs station so they gave the Sox 2 options - either accept less games or move elsewhere.

The Boston Globe reported in March of 1968 that the White Sox were going to get $800 a year from WFLD ( and on a per game fee the lowest amount in MLB - but they were also televising more games than most teams.

When WFLD first signed on the air in 1966 the signal was fine IF you had bought a new tv with a UHF tuner - the converters sold back then were useless. Arthur Allyn most likely thought it was a wise move since the Field brothers were involved with the station. Sports on UHF was starting to become more common in the mid 60's in markets like Detroit, Philadelphia and Boston ( none of which had a non-network VHF) - Chicago of course had one (channel 9) and NYC had three (channels 5, 9 and 11)

As the chart shows most markets only showed 40-60 games a year simply because the networks told the affiliates to limit preemptions.

But as the 1968 season dawned - WFLD-TV ran into a problem that they could not overcome.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3f/Chicago_%284%29.jpg/220px-Chicago_%284%29.jpg

The steel framework of the rising Hancock, which was less than a mile away to the northeast from the 32 transmitter on top of Marina City, bounced an echo that destroyed the signal to the southwestern part of the city ( which of course was the heart of White Sox fandom ) - UHF signals were more prone to ghosting than VHF and there was no short term fix for the problem.

Moving a transmitter is a long process with the FCC and it was compounded that while the Hancock roof looked like an option, it was unknown how the soon to be built Sears Tower would affect signals from the Hancock. Broadcasters had reason to be concerned as in New York the World Trade Center was causing havoc with signals from the Empire State Building where an echo was destroying the signals in Westchester and Connecticut.

WFLD's problems were enhanced as the White Sox had a horrible 1968 season and Jack Drees was a terrible baseball announcer. Drees was known nationally as a boxing and horse racing voice.
lJ-Xn85t87k

More than anything the White Sox just couldn't catch a break in those years.

pdr
01-19-2012, 10:28 AM
Back in 79 I asked Harry to take a picture with my wife and son before a game at Comiskey, he was very nice and joked around a little bit with us. I've always been a big Harry fan and was down in the dumps when he crossed over to the Cubs. I thought the remarks made by the Sunshine Boys after the Sox clinched the 83 division were way out of line.
I actually called Harry at his place at the Ambassador East hotel after the 74 season, it was after Bob Waller blasted Tanner and the Sox for mailing in the season. It sounded like Harry was ready to leave the Sox. He talked to me about 5 minutes and I told him how Sox fans loved him and wanted him to stay with the Sox, I was just a fan and he said he appreciated it that I would take the time to express my feelings to him.

PS The picture was taken on the first game of a new homestand after Disco Demolition night and I was so upset what bad of shape the outfield was in.

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=7262&stc=1&d=1326634040

Sorry about the quality of the picture, it was taken with a cheap Kodak Instamatic camera. I think it cost 15 bucks.

That's a nice memory. I tried tweaking the photo a bit for you.

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=7266&stc=1&d=1326990454

Lip Man 1
01-19-2012, 11:14 AM
APBA:

The Sox outdrew the Cubs for 16 of the 17 years between 1951 and 1967.

The Sox got the majority of the local media coverage through around 1966.

The Sox for many years were the number one team in Chicago.

Lip

SI1020
01-19-2012, 01:13 PM
I used to comment that Wrigley was mostly populated with 10 year olds who "chanted we want a hit" all through the game.
I thought I was the only one around here that remembered that. All those cub scout troops on their baseball outings. Over and over again you'd hear that chant.

Fenway
01-19-2012, 01:23 PM
I thought I was the only one around here that remembered that. All those cub scout troops on their baseball outings. Over and over again you'd hear that chant.

When I was a kid at Fenway we did the same thing.

Nellie_Fox
01-19-2012, 01:30 PM
Back then, Comiskey was called the world's biggest outdoor tavern, and Wrigley was called the world's biggest day-care center.

apbaball
01-19-2012, 01:36 PM
APBA:

The Sox outdrew the Cubs for 16 of the 17 years between 1951 and 1967.

The Sox got the majority of the local media coverage through around 1966.

The Sox for man years were the number one team in Chicago.

Lip

Yes, which is what I thought. Which is why it is interesting WGN wanted to expand their Cubs coverage in 1968 as opposed to the Sox. Oh yeah, WGN had the radio rights to the Cubs. That was unforutnate and cost them.

Secondly, they could have reclaimed the number one team in Chicago in my opinion if they hadn't have screwed things up with the Sports Channel debacle, losing and Jimmy and Harry and the firing of La Russa.

I suppose they didn't have many alternatives back then as far as TV but taking them off free TV was the worst choice they could have made.

apbaball
01-19-2012, 01:40 PM
I thought I was the only one around here that remembered that. All those cub scout troops on their baseball outings. Over and over again you'd hear that chant.

Yes, Scouts, Little-league teams and Summer Camp Field trips. It really was a different crowd than today.

Fenway
01-19-2012, 01:53 PM
Yes, which is what I thought. Which is why it is interesting WGN wanted to expand their Cubs coverage in 1968 as opposed to the Sox.

Secondly, they could have reclaimed the number one team in Chicago in my opinion if they hadn't have screwed things up with the Sports Channel debacle, losing and Jimmy and Harry and the firing of La Russa.

I suppose they didn't have many alternatives back then as far as TV but taking them off free TV was the worst choice they could have made.

The Cubs had been on WGN Radio since 1958 taking over from WIND who got the contract in 1945.

Now why the White Sox games didn't move to WGN Radio during this time I have no idea. In any event I can understand why WGN was loyal to the Cubs.

kba
01-19-2012, 02:35 PM
As the chart shows most markets only showed 40-60 games a year simply because the networks told the affiliates to limit preemptions.



Some of those rights fees on the chart are crazy. The Dodgers got a million dollars in 1968 for the TV rights to nine games? And the Dodgers were a lousy team in the late '60's.

Fenway
01-19-2012, 03:08 PM
Some of those rights fees on the chart are crazy. The Dodgers got a million dollars in 1968 for the TV rights to nine games? And the Dodgers were a lousy team in the late '60's.

For years all O'Malley would allow were the games in San Francisco to be televised.

When RSN's were first developed in the 80's the concept was for home games to be on the pay channel and road games on free OTA stations. The Red Sox in the 70's felt that games on TV would cost them 3-5,000 paid admissions.

In the 50's in NY all 3 teams televised EVERY home game and that seemed to be the pattern in Chicago as well.

Road games were very expensive to televise as AT&T would charge a dollar a mile an hour and if a game ran past an hour by 5 minutes a station would be charged an entire hour. At the end of the remote if the truck didn't flash a graphic saying GOOD NIGHT TELCO you would be billed.

The only sports league that still has blackouts is the NFL and there are a few cities that seldom see the their team play at home.

thechico
01-23-2012, 04:35 PM
The only sports league that still has blackouts is the NFL and there are a few cities that seldom see the their team play at home.

Seems like a lot of our games vs. Oakland are blacked out. I can't think of any other blackouts during our regular season.

Fenway
01-25-2012, 09:09 PM
Seems like a lot of our games vs. Oakland are blacked out. I can't think of any other blackouts during our regular season.

MLB doesn't have a blackout rule like the NFL does.

In talking to an old White Sox fan we seem to both recall that Einhorn and JR in 1982 really got greedy. To get tickets to the 83 All Star Game you had to buy season tickets for BOTH 82 and 83. Anybody else remember that?

tebman
01-25-2012, 09:13 PM
MLB doesn't have a blackout rule like the NFL does.

In talking to an old White Sox fan we seem to both recall that Einhorn and JR in 1982 really got greedy. To get tickets to the 83 All Star Game you had to buy season tickets for BOTH 82 and 83. Anybody else remember that?

That was probably true, but there was a lottery by mail for All-Star Game tickets. I got lucky and was able to buy two tickets that way. My wife and I saw the game from behind two posts in the far left-field corner of the lower deck. But we were there!

:cool:

tick53
01-27-2012, 12:07 PM
The original Sportsvision was a disaster and along with WGN televising all Cub games helped turn Chicago into a Cub town.


Nothing but the truth here! That was not a good time to be a Sox fan IMO.

LITTLE NELL
01-27-2012, 01:07 PM
Nothing but the truth here! That was not a good time to be a Sox fan IMO.

As far as baseball it wasn't bad. The Sunshine Boys bought the team in 81 and brought in Fisk and Luzinski and by 83 we won the division and were probably the best team in MLB but we went flat in the playoffs against the Orioles. It was the other stuff that was bad, Sportsvision, no more Harry and bashing the Veeck years. When the Cubs won in 84 which really came out of nowhere it was like 83 never happened.

Lip Man 1
01-27-2012, 05:27 PM
Nell:

FYI. The term "sunshine boys" was originally used when Tanner and Hemond came on board because of their positive outlook.

Lip

Fenway
02-02-2012, 07:15 PM
Stumbled across this SI article about Einhorn from 1982. He really thought SportsVision was going to make the team rich.


September 06, 1982
Tooting His Own Einhorn
The White Sox co-owner says pay TV could bring in $27 million a year (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1125896/1/index.htm)

This quote came back to bite him.

"We're not unlimited rich guys. You want to see my statement? Come see it. I lost three million dollars last year. I'm projected to lose another three million dollars this year. You want [Steve] Kemp? You want me to sign Kemp? You want [Greg] Luzinski? You want a team you can be proud of here, or you want the Cubs?"

robertks61
02-02-2012, 07:25 PM
I remember hearing that they hired a PR advisor back in the 80's that basically told JR & Eddie to "shut up"!

LITTLE NELL
02-02-2012, 07:29 PM
Nell:

FYI. The term "sunshine boys" was originally used when Tanner and Hemond came on board because of their positive outlook.

Lip

I think a NY writer came up with ''''The Sunshine Boys'' for Jerry and Eddie.
I also remember Steinbrenner calling them The Sunshine Boys.

Here's an article in SI calling them The Sunshine Boys.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1067374/index.htm

Brian26
02-02-2012, 07:49 PM
This quote came back to bite him.

"We're not unlimited rich guys. You want to see my statement? Come see it. I lost three million dollars last year. I'm projected to lose another three million dollars this year. You want [Steve] Kemp? You want me to sign Kemp? You want [Greg] Luzinski? You want a team you can be proud of here, or you want the Cubs?"

No, we don't want Steve Kemp! He's a butcher in leftfield!

Lip Man 1
02-03-2012, 12:40 PM
Nell:

Which doesn't change the fact that it was first used by the Tribune in 1972 describing Roland and Chuck.

I wasn't saying you're wrong just that it was used almost a decade beforehand.

Lip

LITTLE NELL
02-03-2012, 01:22 PM
Nell:

Which doesn't change the fact that it was first used by the Tribune in 1972 describing Roland and Chuck.

I wasn't saying you're wrong just that it was used almost a decade beforehand.

Lip


Thats cool, I thought that you were implying that Jerry and Eddie were never referred to as the Sunshine Boys.