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by qianhong520 • 681 Posts
In the 1950s and 60s I remember listening to Chicago White Sox games on radio regularly with my grandfather. He had an old tube style radio cabinet in the living room Womens Jeremy Langford Jersey , and also owned a small transistor radio that he would use when sitting in the front yard. Listening to White Sox games isnt particularly unique except that I was living in Greenville, South Carolina at the time. The games were hosted on a small hometown radio station, WMRB-1490AM, located in downtown Greenville. As I grew older I sometimes wondered why would Chicago games broadcast into the Deep South?
My interest was rekindled in 2006 when an investor purchased and relocated the Shoeless Joe Jackson house located at 119 East Wilburn Street. Unbeknownst to me, Jacksons house was located just two blocks from where I attended Crestone Elementary School in 1958-60. Moreover, my grandpa and I lived less than one mile from East Wilburn Street. Jacksons house eventually became the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum now located in downtown Greenville. It was placed adjacent to the stadium that hosts a Single-A Boston Red Sox affiliate Womens Leonard Floyd Jersey , the Greenville Drive. Again, I asked myself as to why were White Sox games broadcast in my hometown. Was Shoeless Joe Jacksons legacy connected to the broadcasts? Were the broadcasts the result of a fan base that had developed around Shoeless Joe? The idea was both interesting and intriguing.
I begin my search by contacting the new owner of WMRB 1490AM radio. WMRB was purchased by Randy Mathena in 1987 and renamed WPCI. Randy was friendly and responsive to my queries but was unable to substantiate the White Sox broadcasts. I wrote a letter to the widow of the founder of WMRB, Frank Cope, but didnt receive an answer. I found a research paper on the history of WPCI Radio written by some Furman University students. The paper was helpful in providing a general history of the
station, but it did not mention the Chicago White Sox broadcasts. I also contacted Arlene Marcley, the curator of the new Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum. She allowed me to place a poster in the museum soliciting information but still no leads.
It was in early 2010 that I found a hint on Facebook. I had made a random posting to the Greenville Womens Alshon Jeffery Jersey , SC Facebook page and received a comment from a Greenville native. He believed that during the Textile Mill baseball league days, some mills adopted Major League teams. My contact theorized that Brandon Mills, where Shoeless Joe got his start, may have adopted the Chicago White Sox. Were Chicago White Sox broadcasts the result of Shoeless Joe Jacksons affiliation with the White Sox and his playing time with Brandon Mills of the Textile Baseball League? I was sure that I struck pay dirt.
A quick Google search steered me toward the book, Textile League Baseball: South Carolinas Mill Teams, 1880-1955″ by Thomas K. Perry. I wrote Mr. Perry a letter about the theory and he responded with an email. Perry wrote Authentic Jerrell Freeman Jersey , After we moved away from Greenville, Dad would take me on fishing trips to Lake Hartwell. The cabin, owned by my great aunt and uncle, was wonderfully rustic, and had no television. During those spring evenings, we would listen to the White Sox games Authentic Jeremy Langford Jersey , and I was intrigued with the performances of Tommy John and his teammates. I remember asking Dad why a Greenville station would carry the Chicago games, and he said it was because Shoeless Joe played there years ago. Not an official explanation, I know, but Dad was raised on a mill village in Anderson, SC, so he knew the history of textile sports (he played basketball). I believe his explanation to be true Authentic Leonard Floyd Jersey , though I have no official documentation.
Alas! Finally, I had confirmation that someone else had heard the broadcasts; but what of the purpose and their origin? I thought Mr. Perry had just written a historical narrative on Textile Mill Leagues. Surely, during all that research, if mill teams had adopted Major League teams, he would have found evidence of it. I went back to Randy Mathena of WPCI and shared with him Perrys comments. This reignited Randys interest and he gave me the telephone numbers for Jim Cope, son of former owner Frank Cope Authentic Alshon Jeffery Jersey , and retired WMRB disk jockey, Bill Krieger. The hunt was on.
I first telephoned Mr. Bill Krieger who was now in his mid 80s. We had a delightful conversation discussing the history of WMRB and the city of Greenville. He said Frank Cope purchased the 1490 AM radio station with the financial backing of the Simpson partner of Belk-Simpson Department Stores of Greenville. Cope named the station WMRB taking the call letters from the phrase, We Make Radio Better.
Regarding sports broadcasts on the station, Krieger said WMRB was the host to South Carolina Gamecocks football. Frank Cope had also purchased the rights to broadcast The Masters Golf Tournament originating in Augusta, Georgia. He confirmed that WMRB became host to Chicago White Sox baseball broadcasts. Krieger said that Frank Cope and a local business associate from Household Finance brokered an arrangement with the Chicago White Sox organization. The corporate headquarters for Household Finance was located in Chicago and they were key sponsors on the White Sox Radio Network. When I asked Krieger if he thought the White Sox broadcasts had anything to do with Shoeless Joe Jacksons fame, he stated he had no recollection that Shoeless Joes popularity had anything to do with the broadcasts. He believed it to be purely a business decision. He also went on to say that the Chicago White Sox broadcasts ended in the late 60s and were eventually replaced with the Atlanta Braves in the early 1970s.
I then called Jim Cope Jerrell Freeman Jersey , the son of Frank Cope. Jim Cope told me was about 10 years old when his dad purchased the radio station. He remembered the Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves radio broadcasts. Without telling him the details of my previous interview with Bill Krieger, I asked Jim to give m锘? In pla.
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