A Baseball-Opera Chronology


“Who Would Doubt That I’m A Man,” sheet music for a baseball song from an 1895 opera

I often write about the history of media technology. So why is this post about the joint history of baseball and opera?

It’s because a good chunk of that history — roughly half a century — was devoted to unusual forms of media technology. It offered broadcasting before radio, live remote visual display of moving images before television, animatronics before electronics, and public-address announcements before loudspeakers.

Beginning in the 19th century (see headline above from The Atlanta Constitution in 1886), fans could go to their local opera house to watch remote baseball games. And, in the 21st century, fans can go to their local baseball stadium (below) to watch remote opera. Really!

32,000 fans watch San Francisco Opera’s Aida at AT&T Park in 2010 (photo by Cory Weaver)

I’ll be posting more on the media technology soon, after an article about it appears in the fall issue of Sports Technology Journal.  In the meantime, you may download and enjoy this brief chronology. Click on the link below.

Some Opera and Baseball


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